A Fort Hood soldier was found dead in a Texas lake over the weekend, marking the fifth soldier from Fort Hood found deceased in less than three months.
According to a Fort Hood Press Center release, Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas, 24, of New York, died Sunday during a boating incident at the Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Witnesses reportedly said the victim went underwater while on an innertube and never came back up.
“Well, we were out in the water and happened to notice a lot of emergency service vehicles, saw people out with binoculars out on the lake,” Karen Lange, a witness, told Fox WFXR.
Hernandezvargas’s death is preceded by the death of Fort Hood soldier, Vanessa Guillen, who was found buried in three shallow graves near the Leon River on June 30, around 25 miles from Fort Hood. Her body was dismembered and charred.
Suspect Cecily Aguilar is currently behind bars in connection with Guillen’s death. Another suspect in Guillen’s death, Fort Hood soldier, Aaron Robinson, shot himself in the head while being pursued by police, after learning authorities had discovered her remains.
On May 18, Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans, 27, was found dead in Harker Heights, around nine miles from Fort Hood. He was shot to death and left next to a burned Jeep Renegade. The Harker Heights Police Department currently has no suspects, but continue to investigate the soldier’s death as a murder.
On June 19, Fort Hood soldier Gregory Morales was found dead in a field in Killeen, Texas, less than 10 miles from Fort Hood. His clothing was found shredded and scattered around the area. No suspects have yet been named in connection with Morales’ death, but authorities said foul play was involved.
On July 21, 26-year-old Pvt. Mejhor Morta was found dead, also at Stillhouse Hollow Lake. A preliminary autopsy indicated that Morta may have drowned, the sheriff’s department said in a news release. The investigation, however, is ongoing.
Dallas County Medical Examiners Office is scheduled to perform an autopsy on Hernandezvargas to determine the cause of death, but investigators believe it to be a boating accident, ABC 13 reports. Detectives are currently investigating the events that unfolded over the weekend that led to the soldier’s death.
“The Black Knight family is heartbroken by the loss of Specialist Francisco Hernandezvargas. Our hearts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time,” Lt. Col. Neil Armstrong, commander of 1st Bn. 5th Cav. Regt. said in the Fort Hood press release.
“Specialist Hernandezvargas served his country honorably both stateside while at Fort Hood and abroad in Korea and Romania and this tragic loss is felt by every member within our formation.”
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[Feature Photo: Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvarga/Handout]