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A Ramstein, Germany-based airman who left his family in Germany and was ruled a deserter is in military custody and will remain in jail.

Airman 1st Class Edward Hunter appeared at a pre-trial confinement hearing on Friday at Ramstein Air Base, said 1st Lt. Erin Dorrance, a base spokeswoman.

The court-reviewing officer determined Hunter, who was assigned to the 435th Logistics Readiness Squadron, is a flight risk and should remain at the military confinement facility in Mannheim, Germany, Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Jennifer Lovett said.

Hunter has not been officially charged, she said. However, he is being confined on charges of absence without leave and failure to return a rented car.

The Air Force is still investigating Hunter for a matter it will not release.

Once the investigation is completed, the next step would be an Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury.

That hearing could lead to a court-martial.

Hunter went missing on Jan 6, when he did not return from approved leave to the United States.

The Air Force forced his wife and their four children to leave their Sembach Annex apartment because he was classified as a deserter.

Family members of deserters lose all military benefits and privileges.

His wife, Dawn Hunter, is staying in a hotel in North Carolina. Now that he has been captured, she is entitled to some benefits.


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