NINE Fort Hood soldiers have died around the military base this year as Army sec visits for crunch talks
US ARMY Secretary Ryan McCarthy is visiting Texas this week after nine soldiers have been found dead in the Fort Hood area this year.
McCarthy was at the military base on Wednesday and is holding a press conference on Thursday afternoon “to discuss the Army’s efforts to address the recent events at Fort Hood.”
At least eight soldiers have died in the military base area since March — and the most high-profile case is that of Vanessa Guillen, 20, whose mutilated remains were found in July.
She was last seen at the military base on April 22 — the day investigators say US Army Specialist Aaron Robinson hit her in the head with a hammer.
Federal prosecutors have said Guillen’s body was burned before it was placed in three different holes near the Leon River in Bell County, roughly 20 miles east of the base, after she was bludgeoned to death.
As cops closed in earlier this month on Robinson, who is said to have conspired his 22-year-old girlfriend Cecily Aguilar to hide the body, he killed himself.
Aguilar has since pleaded not guilty to charges connected to Guillen's death.
Guillen and Robinson are among at least nine soldiers who have been found dead in the area of Fort Hood, which has around 36,500 soldiers, this year.
Specialist Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas
Hernandezvargas, a 24-year-old from New York, died on August 2 after a boating accident on Stillhouse Hollow Lake.
The soldier entered the army in May 2017.
He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division since December 2017.
Private Mejhor Morta
Morta, 26, was found unresponsive on July 17 near Stillhouse Hollow Lake, which is a reservoir located in Bell County and is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Fort Worth District.
The Bell County Sheriff’s Department said the body was found at the base of the dam and that a preliminary autopsy determined Morta most likely drowned.
Morta, of Florida, joined the Army in September 2019 as a Bradley Fighting Vehicle Mechanic.
In May 2020, he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
Morta’s awards and decorations include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon, according to officials.
Private Gregory Morales
The skeletal remains of Morales, a 24-year-old from Oklahoma, were discovered on June 19 in a field in Killeen, Texas, after officials at nearby Fort Hood received a tip.
The Army said foul play is suspected in his death, which came after he was last seen in August 2019 driving his personal vehicle outside the military base.
Officials said Morales was supposed to be discharged within days after he disappeared.
The Army listed him as AWOL, and later as a deserter, until his body was found and they changed his status to active duty.
Morales joined the Army in June 2015 as a motor transport operator and had been assigned to the 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood since November 2016.
Private First Class Brandon Rosecrans
Rosecrans, 27, was found fatally shot on May 18 in Harker Heights, located in the Fort Hood area, next to his burned Jeep.
The vehicle was on fire when it was reported to the cops, according to the Army Times.
Rosecrans served as a quartermaster and chemical equipment repairer with the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
He had served with Army the unit since November 2018 after joining the military branch in May 2018.
His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
Specialist Freddy Delacruz Jr
Delacruz, 23, was one of three victims who were found dead from gunshot wounds at an apartment complex roughly six miles from Fort Hood on March 14.
Cops said they found him just before 2am after responding to reports of gunshots, and pronounced him dead an hour later.
Fort Hood said Delacruz was from Georgia and joined the Army in November 2017 as a cavalry scout.
He had been assigned to the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division since April 2018.
His awards and decorations include the Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon, according to the Army Times.
Specialist Christopher Sawyer
Sawyer, 29, was found dead on March 5 at his on-post residence, Fort Hood officials said.
His cause of death wasn’t clear, but officials said earlier this year they didn’t expect foul play at the time of his death.
Sawyer, of Washington state, joined the Army in October 2017 as a wheeled vehicle mechanic.
He was assigned to the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, since May 2018.
Sawyers’ awards include the Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.
Specialist Shelby Jones
Jones, a 20-year-old from Louisiana, was fatally shot at a strip club near Fort Hood on March 1, officials said.
He was shot at Club Dreams but was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound roughly 40 minutes later outside of a convenience store roughly half a mile down the street.
Police said they were investigating Jones’ death as a murder.
Jones joined the Army in May 2017 as a cavalry scout.
He joined Fort Hood’s 3rd Cavalry Regiment in August 2018 and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from May 2018 through January 2019.
The Army said his decorations include the Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.
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