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Newlywed Marines Reported Missing From Pendleton Spotted in Missouri

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Aired 4/19/09

Two recently-married marines reported missing from Camp Pendleton 12 days ago have been spotted in Missouri. The Naval Criminal Investigation Service has called off its search for the pair. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Since it’s now clear Lance Corporal Margaret McMahon Reid and her husband, Private First Class George Reid, are not victims of foul play, military investigators are no longer actively searching for them. Now it’s up to them whether they’ll report back for duty, or join the ranks of about 1,200 marines nationwide classified as deserters.

Camp Pendleton spokesman Mike Alvarez says, for the moment, they’re simply “absent without authority.”

Alvarez : After 30 days of being absent without authority they can be classified as a deserter status. At this time, it’s too early to comment on any disciplinary action which may be taken by their respective commands.

Marine Corps data shows between 700 and 1,700 Marines have deserted each yea since 2002. The numbers have fallen slightly over the past three years.

About six marines are classified as deserters for every thousand on active duty.

Alison St John, KPBS News.

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