The body of missing Fort Hood soldier, Sgt. Elder Fernandes has possibly been found in Temple, Texas.
Members of his unit last saw twenty-three-year-old Sgt. Elder Fernandes at a home in Killeen, Texas on August 17. Investigators believe they found the body of the missing soldier last night near railroad tracks in Temple. Investigators are still waiting for confirmation on the identity of the body from forensic samples. Police say there was no indication of foul play, however. Fort Hood has previously released a statement that indicated investigating allegations of sexual assault.
“We can confirm that there is an open investigation of abuse sexual contact involving Sgt. Fernandes. The chain of command takes all allegations of sexual harassment and assault seriously. The unit sexual assault response coordinator has been working closely with Sgt. Fernandes, ensuring he was aware of all his reporting, care, and victim advocacy options. The unit also facilitated his transfer from a unit who has recently deployed to a different unit within the brigade to ensure he received the proper care and ensure there were no opportunities for reprisals. We will provide updates as we are able once CID completes their investigation.”
The body had a backpack and Fernandes’ driver’s license inside. His vehicle was located in his unit’s parking lot, however.
Fernandes’ mother, Alina Fernandes, told Fort Hood officials, “He’s been in Texas for seven or eight months. He was just having some issues lately inside his unit.”
Missing Soldier and More Crime in Fort Hood
Fort Hood averages 129 violent felonies by a soldier per year. The second-highest military base is Lewis-McChord in Washington at 109 violent felonies.
“The numbers are high here,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said. “They are the highest in most cases for sexual assault, harassment, murders, for our entire formation in the U.S. Army.”
Further more, from March, until June, five soldiers have died from suspected homicides around the country.
[H/T Fox 32]