NATIONAL NEWS

Police Want To Return Military Awards Of Murdered Veteran, But They’re Struggling To Find Family

Dec 11, 2019, 11:31 AM
A murdered veteran's belongings, including a Bronze Star certificate, have been sitting in an evide...
A murdered veteran's belongings, including a Bronze Star certificate, have been sitting in an evidence locker for over a decade. Now, police want to find his family and send them home. (Pinal County Sheriff)
(Pinal County Sheriff)

(CNN) — A murdered veteran’s belongings, including a Bronze Star certificate, have been sitting in an evidence locker for over a decade. Now, police want to find his family and send them home.

Blas Gaitan’s military belongings were with him when he was found dead in 2002 in Casa Grande, Arizona, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said. He was homeless and had “fallen on hard times,” the agency said.

“With him at the time of his death were his military documents, patches, and pins,” and a Bronze Star certificate, the sheriff’s office told CNN in a statement. “It appears he served in the Vietnam War with the 75th Ranger Regiment.”

The items were entered into evidence, where they have been held ever since, the sheriff’s office said.

The suspect in Gaitan’s killing signed a plea agreement and was sentenced to 10 1/2 years, which were served, the sheriff’s office told CNN. That means the slain man’s belongings can be returned to his family.

“It is clear Gaitan was very proud of his military service, and we want to honor that. We’d like to see these documents returned to his family where they belong,” said Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb.

Anyone who may have known Gaitan can visit the sheriff’s office’s unclaimed property page.

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Police Want To Return Military Awards Of Murdered Veteran, But They’re Struggling To Find Family