Army private goes missing; found in severe crash - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Army private goes missing; found in severe crash

(SOURCE: McNairy County Sheriff) (SOURCE: McNairy County Sheriff)
McNairy County (WMC) -

A United States Army private missing in McNairy County during a four-day pass from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was found seriously injured in a one-vehicle car crash on Monday afternoon.

According to McNairy County Sheriff Guy Buck, Pvt. Cody Phillips, 19, was last seen around midnight Saturday when he left his parents' home to meet with some friends in Milledgeville at approximately 1 a.m. 

"He had went out and not returned home, which was concerning, but he was an adult," Sheriff Buck said.

The fact that Phillips was under 21 years old allowed law enforcement to go through the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to place Phillips in the National Crime Index Center (NCIC) database to help search for him.

Buck said they did not suspect any foul play was involved based on the fact that he had not used his cell phone or debit card since Saturday night, which told authorities he was still in the area.

According to Buck, the search for Phillips received a needed break when his cell phone sent a signal to the phone company, giving them a location of where to search. The location was near the 200 block of N. Leapwood Road.

Buck found Phillips approximately 30 yards off the road from where the location was pinpointed by the cell phone. Phillips appeared to have crawled from his Ford Ranger. When the sheriff found him, he still had a pulse and his body was warm.

Authorities said Phillips ran off the road and his Ford Ranger went airborne. It landed 40 yards off the highway, which caused the truck to be hidden by trees. This prevented passing motorists from seeing the truck and accident, and prevented Phillips from being located until Monday.

Although Phillips was extremely lethargic, he responded to Sheriff Buck when he found him. 

The sheriff said it is unclear when exactly the accident happened, but it is believed that Phillips was in the woods for approximately 30 hours.

Buck said Phillips had head injuries and cuts to his head and leg. He was airlifted to Regional One in Memphis.

"He is still at The Med as of yesterday," Sheriff Buck said.

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