MIDDLETOWN, Ind.– The body of a missing U.S. Air Force member from Middletown, Ind., has been found in the Livenza River in Italy.
Italian officers found the body of Staff Sgt. Halex Hale, 24, less than a mile away from where he was last seen 10 days ago.
"This is not real, this is not real," says Halex's mom Amy Hale.
Amy confirmed that the identity of the body on Tuesday morning, and she said even though this is not the outcome they hoped for, she knows “Halex is in heaven now.”
She has been clinging to hope for more than a week as Air Force officials searched tirelessly throughout Italy for her son. Now, the hope has turned to tears after finding out 24-year-old son’s body was found.
Hale graduated from Shenandoah High School and has been with the Air Force for six years. He served in Afghanistan for four years before being stationed in Italy.
Hale went missing on July 2 after leaving a friend’s cookout in Sacile, about nine miles off base.
Hale’s cause of death has not yet been determined at this time.
“I do not understand it. I cannot tell you how I have coped,” says Amy.
The Hale family says they are thankful for all the love and support they received from the community since their son disappeared, and they are asking for privacy at this time. They are asking everyone to say a prayer for service members today.
The Middletown church of Nazarene tells me they are waiting until Halex’s body is brought home to plan a memorial service. The pastor tells me around $10,000 has already been raised to help the family.