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What’s Really Going On At Fort Hood? Missing Solider Reportedly Found Hanging From Tree After Reporting Sexual Abuse

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The body of missing Fort Hood soldier Elder Fernandes was found after he was last seen on August 17th. His body was reportedly found hanging in a tree. Over a dozen soldiers have died or is missing from Fort Hood. What’s really good? More inside…

Something is going on at army post Fort Hood, and whatever it is, it isn’t good.

The body of missing 23-year-old Fort Hood solider Elder Fernandes was found after he was last seen on August 17th. Before his disappearance, he allegedly reported sexual abuse.

According to Natalie Khawam - who is representing the Fernandes family – the Army police told family members about the discovery of the body. She said Elder’s body was found hanging from a tree about 30 miles east of the base in Texas. Temple police said they believe the body to be that of Sgt. Fernandes.

Before his remains were found, Fort Hood officials said Sunday in a statement that finding Elder safe was the 1st Cavalry Division’s top priority:

Elder is the third soldier from Fort Hood to go missing in the past year. The two other missing soldiers – including Spc. Vanessa Guillen and PV2 Gregory Wedel Morales - were found dead earlier this summer.

"I am saddened that another soldier who served the country has been destroyed by sexual assault and sexual harassment and this toxic culture in the military that exists," said Khawam.

Natalie Khawam is also representing the family of Vanessa Guillen, the Fort Hood soldier who also went missing and who was found dead.

An autopsy will be conducted at the request of Temple police and a final positive identification was pending. Elder had a backpack with him and his driver’s license was found inside.

Elder was born in the Republic of Cabo Verde, an island country in the Atlantic Ocean west of Africa. He joined the army in September 2016. He’s described as being 5 feet, 5 inches tall with black hair and brown eyes and weighs 133 pounds.

Right now, no foul play is suspected at this time. The investigation remains ongoing.

Before his death, Elder filed a sexual-assault claim against a superior on May 11th. His aunt – Isabel Fernandes – said the family has learned that he was bullied, harassed, and hazed when he was moved to a new unit following the alleged assault. Sick.

CBS News reports:

Isabel Fernandes, the soldier's aunt, said the family has not been told the reason for his stay in the psychiatric wing at the Army medical facility or whether it was voluntary. She said the family has not seen his medical records due to privacy protections.

Army Criminal Investigations Division special agent Damon Phelps confirmed Wednesday that Elder Fernandes reported that someone had "reached out and touched his buttocks." Phelps said an investigation was completed, no witnesses were found and the allegation was determined unsubstantiated. Officials declined to give the identity of the accused, who they said took a polygraph test.

Officials said in a previous statement that Fernandes was transferred to a different unit within the brigade following the report and they are unaware of reports of bullying or hazing.

According to Isabel Fernandes, the family was told by Army officials that a different superior signed her nephew's hospital release. The superior dropped him off outside of a house belonging to a former roommate of Elder Fernandes.

But Fernandes never made it to the friend's door.

Sadly, his story sounds scary familiar. You’ll recall, Vanessa Guillen’s family said the 20-year-old Houston native was sexually harassed on post before her death. Her dismembered remains were later found in a bag near the Leon River in Bell County on July 6th. She reportedly was murdered in April inside of a Fort Hood armory by another enlisted solider, Aaron David Robertson. He killed himself before he could be taken into custody.

Also...

On July 17th, the body of another Fort Hood solider was found by a lake near the military installation. Pvt. Mejhor Morta was reportedly found unresponsive near Stillhouse Hollow Lake, which is about 16 miles from the base. According to a news release from Fort Hood, fisherman found his body at the base of a dam. The Bell County Sheriff’s Department is investigating his death.

“I always envision myself that something great will happen to me. As long as I keep learning from my mistakes and...

Posted by Mejhor Morta on Monday, April 6, 2020

It’s believed he may have drowned. According to a preliminary autopsy, the cause of death is consistent with a drowning. However, a full autopsy has not been completed and the investigation is still ongoing.

These are the latest deaths at Fort Hood as over a dozen soldiers have been reported missing, slain or killed in an accident. It’s the most crime-ridden post…but why?

“The numbers are high here. They are the highest in most cases for sexual assault, harassment, murders, for our entire formation in the U.S. Army,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said.

At this point, should they just shut Fort Hood down and clean house? All of these unexplained deaths, sexual assaults and murders are haunting and something needs to be done.

 

Photos: US Army/Fort Hood

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