Air Force member from Henry County missing in Italy

MIDDLETOWN, Ind. (WISH) – The U.S. Air Force says a 24-year-old airman from Henry County is missing. Witnesses said they last saw Staff Sgt. Halex Hale Saturday night near his base in northern Italy.

Air Force members are helping Italian police with the search. Two family members flew to Italy Friday while the airman’s mother, Amy Hale, stayed in Middletown to support her family.

“It’s very trying,” Amy said. “I’ve got to believe. Keep up the faith. Keep the prayers coming.”

Sgt. Hale spent July 2nd at a cookout. Amy said he left his cell phone and keys behind when he walked to meet a friend.

He never came back.

“I feel my child needs to me and I can’t get to him,” Amy said. “I can’t find him. I need continued support and prayers.”

Prayer is what brought hundreds to the Middletown Church of the Nazarene Thursday. Church members started a fundraiser for the family. The money will help two family members travel to Italy — a trip that’s already cost them thousands of dollars. Hale’s father and uncle departed Friday.

“We will not stop looking. He will not come home without our boy,” Amy said.

The Hales decorate their house with pride for their son. An Air Force flag flies on the front lawn next to a sign that reads “support our troops.”

Amy describes him as a caring man who’s loved his six years with the Air Force. She said she has no clue what happened to him.

“Hug your children. Tell someone you love them today. And be nice,” she said. “The world is not a very good place right now so be nice.”

Locals donated enough money to pay for a portion of the airfare for Halex’s uncle and dad. If you’d like to donate, contact the Middletown Church of the Nazarene at (765) 354-2327.

Anyone with information on Hale’s whereabouts should call the Aviano Air Base at (39) 0434-30-7200.