ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 19-year-old Alaska National Guard trainee who was missing for months in Illinois returned to Alaska Friday.
Pvt. Stephanie Marie Foxie had been living in the home of a convicted felon, guard officials in Alaska recently determined. Foxie was declared AWOL from Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C., in January after she failed to return to basic training there following a two-week leave to visit with an aunt in Decatur, Ill.
Guard officials here were never notified of Foxie's disappearance.
Foxie, who is from the Yup'ik Eskimo village of Stebbins on Alaska's West Coast, briefly landed in Anchorage Friday afternoon after her flight from Chicago. She then continued to Nome, where guard officials in Alaska had arranged for her to meet with counselors from Norton Sound Health Corp. and the Bering Sea Women's Shelter.
Maj. Mike Haller, a spokesman for the Alaska National Guard, said basic training was the first big trip for Foxie. Haller described her as a naive young woman who fell into bad company in Illinois.
Foxie was staying with Daniel Boehme, a 42-year-old man with a violent past and lengthy criminal history, including involuntary manslaughter for killing a man with a baseball bat and domestic battery for taking a baseball bat to his wife. He is now out on $25,000 bail on a charge of aggravated restraint for allegedly holding his stepdaughter against her will.
''Unfortunately, (Foxie) made too many bad decisions,'' Sgt. Maj. Craig Lisonbee said Friday afternoon as he waited with Haller for Foxie's plane to land at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
Foxie, who was escorted by her Nome recruiting officer, Maj. Mike Albertson, declined to comment Friday about her disappearance. Haller said Foxie had decided to return after she checked into a women's shelter in Decatur.
Guard officials said they are trying to determine why no one in the Army notified them about Foxie's disappearance. Haller said officials will meet this summer with Army officials to make sure a soldier doesn't fall through administrative cracks again.
Maj. Ryan Yantis, at the Army's public relations office in Washington, D.C., said he couldn't say why the Guard wasn't notified because he didn't know the details of the Foxie case.
''It could have been a simple breakdown in communications,'' he said. ''We're looking into it.''
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