The body of a Fort Hood soldier was found hanging in a tree Tuesday about 25 miles away from the base.
Sgt. Elder Fernandes had been seen last on Aug. 17, according to an article published by The Boston Globe.
A tragic end that has become familiar for Fort Hood.
Sgt. Elder Fernandes, missing for a week and held claims he was sexually assaulted, was likely found dead about 30 miles east of the base https://t.co/UECIyrpUk9
— Alex Horton (@AlexHortonTX) August 26, 2020
A body was spotted by a person walking near railroad tracks in Temple, Texas around 5:40 p.m. CST. Officials suspected the body to be Fernandes due to a black backpack found nearby, the soldier’s family’s lawyer Natalie Khawam told the outlet.
The backpack reportedly contained Fernandes’ driver license. (RELATED: Woman Charged In Case Of Missing Fort Hood Soldier Who Was Bludgeoned, Dismembered)
“Our worst nightmare has happened,” Khawam said in a statement to the outlet. “One of our own, Sergeant Elder Fernandes has been found dead today. We are sickened by this tragedy that has happened one too many times. We are heartbroken for Elder Fernandes’s family.”
Fernandes’ death and disappearance come after he complained of sexual abuse at Fort Hood. The soldier had recently transferred units after reporting allegations of sexual abuse, according to the New York Post.
“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,” Fort Hood’s Public Affairs Officer Lt. Col. Chris Brautigam told the outlet.
No details on the sexual abuse probe have been released to the public.
Fernandes is the third soldier to go missing from the base this year, according to the New York Post.