Police appeal to public to help find missing soldier

Police appeal to public to help find missing soldier

20-year-old serviceman vanishes after leaving his base on Tuesday; authorities fear for his life

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Police appealed to the public on Wednesday to help in locating a missing soldier amid fears he may take his own life.

Liraz Benbenishti (courtesy Israel Police)
Liraz Benbenishti (courtesy Israel Police)

Liraz Benbenishti, 20, left his base near Gedera on Tuesday and police said he was seen on Medinat Hayehudim Street in Herzliya later that day. However, since then he has vanished without a trace.

Benbenishti, who serves in the air force, is from Ramat Gan and was wearing his uniform when last seen.

According to Maariv, the soldier had recently clashed with his commanding officer over a court martial he was facing concerning damage to a computer program. After his family contacted police about his disappearance, police investigators studied his home computer and discovered that Benbenishti has recently been browsing websites that address methods of suicide.

Police and Military Police investigators have tried to locate the soldier by tracking his mobile phone but the trail went cold after the device was turned off on Tuesday night.

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