Italy calls off search for U.S. missing airman

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MILAN — A U.S. Air Force spokesman says that Italian law enforcement authorities have called off the search for a missing airman in the area where he disappeared in northern Italy.

Capt. Michael Hertzog said Sunday that Italian police searched the area where Staff Sgt. Halex Hale was last seen for three days before suspending the operation Saturday evening after finding no evidence of any kind.

Hale, a 24-year-old from Middletown, Indiana, is assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base north of Venice, and was last seen July 2 at a friend’s cookout in Sacile, about 15 kilometers (nine miles) off base.

Hertzog couldn’t comment on cellphone, credit card or automobile use, saying they were part of the ongoing investigation. Italian police have circulated a missing person’s bulletin.