Local News

Fayetteville police searching for missing soldier

Posted February 11, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Police on Wednesday asked for the public’s assistance in locating a missing Fort Bragg soldier.

Spc. Joseph E. Putnam, 22, was last seen at 1208 Bragg Blvd. at about 4:15 a.m. Tuesday, police said. Putnam is assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 82nd Airborne Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team.

"I am desperately seeking my baby,” said Angela Stanford, Putnam’s mother.

"I know the military is definitely concerned. So are we,” said Lt. Randy Podobinski, with the Fayetteville Police Department.

Police ask for help locating missing soldier Police ask for help locating missing soldier

About 10 hours after he was last seen, an unidentified man used Putnam's debit card at a Kangaroo convenience store at 1764 Ireland Drive, police said. He was described as a black man in his late 30s to early 40s, about 6 feet 2 and 190 pounds. He was bald, had a close-trimmed beard and had recent burn marks to his abdomen. He was wearing a white T-shirt with blue exercise pants.

"I am trying my best not to think the worst. But what they are telling me is not adding up, and he should be showing up somewhere,” Stanford said.

Putnam was described as a white man, 5 feet, 10 inches tall and 150 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes. He has tattoos of a cow skull and the words “Cowboy Up” on his left shoulder. He was wearing a white T-shirt, Wrangler jeans and cowboy boots.

"If anybody out there knows where he is, I need to know where he is. I just want to know where he is,” Stanford said.

Anyone with information on Putnam’s whereabouts or the identity of the man who used his debit card is asked to call the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-433-1856 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-8477.


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  • nonemeant Feb 12, 2009

    My heart goes out to this mother! You reap what you sow. I pray to God that whoever is responsible for his disappearance (pray that this is extent) will have the worst guilty conscience and can't sleep til they turn themselves in for justice to be served.

  • happy Feb 12, 2009

    Hope this turns out well. It broke my heart to watch it on the news. His face is so young and innocent. Praying that he is found safe.

  • lemonlake1958 Feb 12, 2009

    There needs to be a nation wide sweep to look into new ways to use debit cards with out the fear of thugs!!! My heart goes out to this brave guy's family and friends!! Keep the prayers going.........

  • bronzegoddess40 Feb 12, 2009

    I hope and pray that this young man is found safe and sound. As a mother of a son in that age group and also in the military, it makes me sad. I sure hope they are holding the guy that used his debit card and get some answers.

  • cjimmyray414 Feb 12, 2009

    I am Ptaying for the Solider who is Helping protect the people all over the world, and then some low of the lowest all tnhey want to do is hurt the ones who are protecting the ones who are to sorry to want to do nothing but take from the ones who are helping protecting us. And when they do get caught, what does the so call Justice do with them, say we will put you on probation and be good. Then the parobation officers don;t do nothing but take our tax payers money. BUT ONE THING FOR SURE YOU CAN NOT HIDE FROM GOD.

  • jimbo141 Feb 12, 2009

    yet another thug who cares about noone but himself!!! it's sad that this young man who is selflessly serving his country has to go through this!! i hope he turns up!

  • armygirlfriend Feb 12, 2009

    i hope he is found safe! my boyfriend is in the military my heart drops everytime i see something about someone in the military is missing, dead, or killed, or anything of that nature even tho i know he is ok because i have talked to him 5 minutes before i see a story like that.
    just praying he is found and that he is ok!

  • entryrejected Feb 12, 2009

    ****Wipes sweat off of fore head***** I thought this was about my cousin.. since he's been awal for 2 months.. (even tho all the family knows here he is) lol

  • lilreno is in the wind Feb 12, 2009

    con amor- It is sad that there are alot of thugs out there that dont appreciate what the military members do for them. I am thankful for people like you that does! I also pray that this soldier will be found safe!

  • Jax is proud to be an American Feb 12, 2009

    I have a lump in my tummy over this one. I hope he comes home soon.