Airman's body found in Missouri state park
Thu, 13 Jan 2011 05:17:34 GMT —
Update: Friday, Jan. 14 at 6:10 p.m.:
In a news released obtained by KRCG, the Johnson County Sheriff TMs Office confirmed a body found in Knob Noster State Park belonged to a missing Whiteman Air Force Base airman.
Whiteman officials said Luis Vazquez, 18, of Alliance, Nebraska, failed to report to duty on Monday. Neither did fellow airman Kerby Barbe.
The Associated Press is reporting Barbe drove Vazquez TMs pickup truck to Texas, where he killed himself after a long standoff with law enforcement.
A sheriff in Texas said he believed Barbe possibly killed Vazquez and that TMs why he killed himself.
Brigadier General Scott Vander Hamm, who TMs the commander at Whiteman, told WDAF Vazquez and Barbe were new recruits who just arrived on base around Thanksgiving.
"These two spend time together, on and off duty, in class together and were proud to get ready to start to do their work as defenders here, for the 509th Bomb Wing, and as far as motive for if something happened, we're just scratching our heads at this point," he said.
Investigators with the Johnson County Sheriff TMs Office said Vazquez and Barbe were friends and lived in separate rooms in the same dorm at Whiteman.
The airmen recently completed training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Investigators said Barbe told a female friend that he critically injured another airman and left his body in Knob Noster State Park.
Officials have not determined an exact cause of death. The case is being investigated as a homicide. There is no known motive at this time.
Officials at Whiteman Air Force Base have said little about 2 airmen who went AWOL.
In a news release, base officials said the 2 failed to show up for work at the base on Monday.
Texas police said a heavily-armed Kerby Barbe, 19, killed himself after a standoff with police in Johnson City, Texas.
Whiteman officials won TMt comment on the case, but police in Texas are calling Barbe a suspect in the death of another airman, whose body could be in Nebraska.
Kansas City Star: www.kcstar.com
Lincoln Journal Star: www.journalstar.com