Missing in Utah: The mysterious disappearance of Army Spec. Joseph Bushling

Missing In Utah

SALT LAKE CITY: It’s been 10-years since Kevin Bushling last heard from his son.

In May, 2011, Army Specialist Joseph Bushling was headed to his new assignment at Ft. Carson Colo.

That day, a fellow soldier was to give him a ride to the Salt Lake airport. But Bushling disappeared before he caught that ride. His father claimed the army isn’t telling the full story.

“It started because he didn’t call his mother on Mother’s Day, which was a Sunday,” said the elder Bushling.

Joseph Bushling had been stationed at Tooele County army site for about a year. Kevin Bushling said prior to heading to the airport, his son went on a drive, ran out of gas, and called a soldier at Dugway.

“They spoke on the phone for about four minutes and to this date, there’s no evidence that has been turned up other than the car he was driving and the baseball cap he was wearing,” said Bushling in a 2011 interview.

A Tooele County search and rescue member found Bushling’s car in an isolated area of the Dugway range in a ravine about 64 road miles from dugway, according to an ABC4 report in 2011.

After arriving at Dugway, Bushling was told his son went AWOL, away without leave.

“They’ve admitted they don’t know where he is,” Bushling said again in his 2011 interview. “He’s gone. If he’s going to show up anywhere, he’s going to show up at my house. But unless he can get resurrected, he is not going to show up. There’s no doubt that my son is deceased.

From the very beginning, Bushling claimed the army refused to accept there were other possibilities of his disappearance. From that point on, he said they never saw eye to eye.

It was 2012 when searchers found the vehicle and Bushling’s cap. It was about 34-miles south of Dugway. But they also came across something else.

“We did find some clothes articles and there were some bones that were found that were turned over to Tooele County,” Kurt Hadfield, one of the organizers of the search, told ABC4 in 2012.

But months later, they learned the bones weren’t those of Bushling, but from an animal.

From that point on, Bushling claimed the army wouldn’t offer anything of substance about his missing son.

“That is the answer the army has given me about every facet of this investigation is ‘I don’t know,'” he said. “Tooele County sheriff’s department is just as guilty.”

An attempt to reach the U.S. Army public relations was unsuccessful. A spokesman for the sheriff’s office said the case is still active, but there are no new developments.

Wednesday in part two of the Bushling’s journey, is their son dead or still AWOL?

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Utah Coronavirus

More Coronavirus Updates

IN FOCUS

More In Focus

Justice Files

More Justice Files

Trending Stories