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Pinal County Sheriff's Office to reunite late veteran's awards, belongings to son

Blas Gaitan died in 2002 in Eloy
Posted at 9:33 PM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 16:50:47-05

ELOY, Ariz. — A late veteran's military awards and personal belongings will be reunited with his family nearly 20 years after his death.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office announced this week that they were searching for the family of Blas Gaitan, a Vietnam War veteran who died in Oct. 2002 in Eloy.

PCSO's Property and Evidence Unit recently uncovered a Bronze Medal award made out to Gaitan, among other emblems and artifacts.

Gaitan was shot and killed near Roper and Toltec Butte Roads, according to PCSO. The Sheriff's Office believed he was homeless, but his son, Blas Gaitan Jr., confirmed to KGUN9 that he owned a home in Eloy at the time of his death.

In the 17 years since his death, PCSO had not been able to find any of Gaitan's relatives until Wednesday. Blackhorse Investigations, a private investigation company, helped to tracked down Gaitan Jr.

Gaitan Jr. said he was only 15-years-old when his father died, and he did not know he served in Vietnam, nor one the awards that he did. He said his father only told him that he was in the military.

Gaitan Jr. plans to pick up his father's belongings Thursday morning from PCSO.