A MISSING Fort Hood soldier who reported sexual abuse was found hanged, cops said – becoming the twelfth death this year.
On Tuesday, cops said the body believed to be that of missing Sgt Elder Fernandes was found in Temple, about 30 miles from Fort Hood, the Texas Army base.
Local police determined that it was the missing soldier based on the backpack he had with him, which had his drivers license inside but forensic confirmation is pending.
Fernandes, 23, is the twelfth Fort Hood soldier to die this year and his family's attorney Natalie Khawam said he was found hanging in a tree.
Fernandes was reported missing by US Army police on August 19.
Officials said he was last seen two days before when a superior had dropped him off at his house.
Fernandes transferred units after reporting sexual abuse, an Army official said in a statement.
Temple police got a call at 5:36 pm saying a man was seen near the railroad tracks but when cops arrived, they determined he was dead.
Law enforcement don't suspect foul play but they're investigating Fernandes' death.
The probe is ongoing and an autopsy is pending.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fernandes family during this challenging time," Temple Police Chief Shawn Reynolds said.
Khawam said the family were told late on Tuesday night.
The Army and the Fernandes family, from Brockton, Massachusetts, appealed for help to find the 23-year-old.
"Our worst nightmare has happened," Khawam told The Boston Globe. "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.
"We will not stop until we find out what happened to Elder.
"We must demand a Congressional Investigation of Ft. Hood. We must protect our soldiers!"
More to follow…
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