Fort Hood soldier found dead in lake is base’s 5th service member to die this year

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The body of a Fort Hood soldier was recovered from a lake near the Texas base weeks after another soldier drowned there — marking the fifth service member stationed at Fort Hood to be found dead this year.

Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas, 24, of Woodside, New York, was found dead Sunday after he disappeared underwater while being pulled on an inner tube behind a motorboat on Stillhouse Hollow Lake, according to Fort Hood officials.

Bell County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the drowning and Fort Hood officials say they are cooperating with local authorities. It’s unclear whether foul play is suspected in the case.

Hernandezvargas joined the army in May 2017 as an automatic rifleman and was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division since December 2017. He also served abroad in Korea and Romania.

Hernandezvargas is at least the fifth Fort Hood soldier whose body has been found near the post in recent months.

Among them was Pvt. Gregory Morales, 24, who was found dead in a field in Killeen, near the base, in June, about 10 months after he was last seen. US Army officials suspect foul play in his death.

The entrance to the Fort Hood Army Base in Fort Hood, Texas, near Killeen.
The entrance to the Fort Hood Army Base near Killeen, Texas.AP Photo/Jack Plunkett, File

Then, the body of Pvt. Mejhor Morta, 26 was discovered July 17 in the same lake where Hernandezvargas was recovered. He was believed to have drowned.

Remains later identified as the missing 20-year-old soldier Pfc. Vanessa Guillen were uncovered July 1 from a shallow grave about 20 miles east of the post.

Authorities said she was bludgeoned to death at the base by a fellow soldier, Spc. Aaron David Robinson, 20, who later killed himself.

With Post wires

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