Family prays missing USS John S. McCain sailor with metro ties will be found alive

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A sailor from the metro is missing, one of the 10 missing sailors on Navy destroyer USS John S. McCain, which collided with a merchant ship. Petty Officer First Class Charlie Findley grew up in Parkville before pursuing his lifelong dream of joining the Navy.

"He wanted to make something of himself and make his family proud," Amy Winters said about her brother.

Winters says after growing up in Parkville and later graduating from Central High School in St. Joseph, Findley got his GED.  Relatives say Findley developed his self-esteem, overcame several personal obstacles and joined the Navy where he works as an electronics technician.

Winters, Findley's older sister, lives in the Chicago area. Tuesday FOX 4's Robert Townsend spoke exclusively to her by phone.

"That is his dream. He loved traveling the world with the Navy and he had so many friends and the Navy truly is his family. My brother especially loved the Japanese culture and living overseas. He also had a passion for rebuilding cars. He got remarried over there," Winters said.

Since Monday, Findley's family has been experiencing an extremely tough time.

When the Navy destroyer collided with a merchant ship, the 31-year-old Findley was aboard the vessel off the waters of Singapore. As of Tuesday, Navy officials confirmed five sailors were hurt and 10 others missing.

"It's just hard. Every time we hear something we're kind of just keeping count and saying that's okay there's still a few more. He could still be alive out there, maybe found in a pocket of air. We don't know," said Winters.

Tuesday, Navy officials began identifying some sailors' remains.

"I don't know how many they have recovered. They won't even tell us that right now," added Winters.

"The most frustrating part is we're not really given updates and most of my updates are coming from Google searches," said Chenoah Kent, Findley's ex-wife and best friend.

Kent lives in Virginia with their 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son.

"I'm praying that he's found and he's safe and high up on some water and he's just waiting for them to find him," said Kent.

A Navy spokesman would only say as of Tuesday night Petty Officer First-Class Findley's "whereabouts remain unknown."

"He loved his job and he planned on retiring with the Navy," said Winters about her brother.

"My prayer is not only for Charlie, but for all of the unnamed, missing soldiers that their families find peace and that the remaining soldiers are found," added Winters.

Findley's family said he is currently married, and they are now asking for privacy.



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