The body of a third Fort Hood soldier has been found near a lake.
What We Know:
- The body of another soldier has been found near Fort Hood. This is the third soldier to be unearthed near the US Army base in Texas within the last month.
- Private Mejhor Morta, 26, was found unresponsive July 17 in the vicinity of the Stillhouse Hollow Lake reservoir, Fort Hood officials said on Tuesday. Morta’s body was seen early Friday by fishermen who were boating near the base of the man-made lake’s dam, the sheriff said. Enforcement agents retrieved his remains after they arrived on the scene. The Bell County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident.
- The sheriff’s department said the preliminary results conclude that the cause of death appears to be drowning; however, Justice of the Peace Garland Potvin has ordered an autopsy from the medical examiner’s office in Dallas.
- “The Black Knight family is truly heartbroken by the tragic loss of Private Mejhor Morta,” said Lt. Col. Neil Armstrong, commander of 1st Brigade 5th Cavalry Regiment. “I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones.”
- Morta was originally from Pensacola, Fla. and entered the army last September 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, according to a statement by the Fort Hood Press Center. His awards and decorations include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.
- Morta is the third soldier from Fort Hood to turn up dead near the army base. The partial remains of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, 20, was found June 30th near the Leon River after she had been reported missing for over two months by her family in April. She was bludgeoned to death by a fellow soldier on the base, who hacked her up and then disposed of her body in a shallow grave. The main suspect, Aaron David Robinson, killed himself the morning of July 1 as law enforcement closed in.
- Days before finding Guillen’s body, the military and law enforcement agents found the remains of another Fort Hood soldier, Pvt. Gregory Scott Morales, 24, near Killen on June 19th. Gregory Morales was designated as a ‘deserter’ by the military when he went missing August 2019. After finding his body, the military restored his honor on July 15 which now allows him to have a burial with full military honors. The Army Criminal Investigation Division said they suspect foul play in Morales’s death and have offered a $25,000 reward to anyone with information related to his death. The medical examiner has not released the autopsy results.
Law enforcement officials have not said if they believe Morta’s death to be suspicious or if it is connected to the deaths of Guillen or Morales.