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'He's playing a cat-and-mouse game': Camp Pendleton Marine wanted for desertion

'He's playing a cat-and-mouse game': Camp Pendleton Marine wanted for desertion
Posted at 3:26 PM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 20:12:47-04

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — The search is heating up for a Camp Pendleton Marine wanted for desertion, as investigators zero in on a specific location.

Andrew Tyler Hall, 29, a machine gunner in the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton, disappeared in mid-February.

“After about a month or so, there was some back-and-forth telephone communication. He told the Marine Corps he was going to turn himself in,” said Trish Routte.

Routte leads the Crime Stoppers program in Southwest Florida, where the search is now focused. She says Hall has had several conversations with the Marines since he left.

“Every phone call has ended with the same conversation: ‘I’m going to turn myself in.’ So it’s been kind of a cat-and-mouse game, but every time he says he’s going turn himself in, he never does,” said Routte. “The military has had to go to extreme circumstances and secure a warrant for his arrest, which is now very active.”

Routte says according to the Marines, the native of Lehigh Acres, FL, may be hiding out in the area and getting help from family.

“According to the Marine Corps, the family and friends have been a little less than cooperative with them,” said Routte.

A Crime Stoppers reward of up to $3,000 reward is being offered in the case. Routte says it's the first ever desertion case she's worked on.

“I think 9 times out of 10, when there’s a situation like this, the military is able to find these individuals, and handle it amongst themselves,” said Routte.

In this case, investigators are making a rare appeal to the public to help find an accused deserter.

“A Marine is loyal to the core, is loyal to his brethren, loyal to our country. The fact he is playing this cat-and-mouse game with the Marine Corps, that is so disrespectful to everything that he as a Marine stands for,” said Routte.

ABC 10News reached out to some of Hall's family and have not heard back.

According to Navy data in 2021, 157 sailors deserted the U.S. Navy, up from 63 sailors in 2019. The Marine Corps reported 59 in 2019 and 31 in 2021.