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Fernandes' body was found 25 miles away from Fort Hood. Photo: bostonglobe.com

Fort Hood Soldier Elder Fernandes’ body has been located

Exactly one week after Fernandes’ disappearance, his body was found 25 miles away on August 25

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A body in Temple, Texas has been found and is presumed to be that of missing Fort Hood soldier Elder Fernandes. According to the Temple Police Department’s press release, the body had been deceased for an extended period of time. 

Though there is no forensic confirmation at the moment, it is assumed that it is that of Fernandes.

Prior to disappearing from the base, Fernandes had reported sexual assault by a superior officer to the Fort Hood authorities.

According to Fernandes’ mother, she did not know he had reported a sexual assault by a superior officer.

Additionally, she did not know he had been reassigned to a new unit within his brigade for his safety. As a result, his family found the circumstances of his disappearance suspicious.

As more information comes to light, the late soldier had also been hospitalized this month from Aug. 11 to 17. 

The day after he was last seen,, his family became concerned when they did not hear from him after promising to call his mother. 

The Statesman, a local newspaper, has reported that Fernandes body was found hanging from a tree. They added that the local officials identified the body using a backpack that had the soldier’s military ID and license. 

Natalie Khawam, the attorney who also represents the family of another Fort Hood soldier who was murdered, Vanessa Guillen, will also represent Fernandes should his case go to court.

Khawam suspects there was foul play involved. 

“This is another example and another reason why our country needs to protect our soldiers. Shame on them for not protecting this young man who just reenlisted in January to continue to serve our country,” she said.

Khawam also noted that when he enlisted, he did not have any mental health issues. 

She alleges they came after soldiers found out about his sexual assault investigation and when he started contemplating suicide.

“Everything was great until he was sexually assaulted by his staff sergeant. He was upset and humiliated,” said Khawam.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story stated Fernandes was missing for a month before his body was found. That information is not true, he was found one week after disappearing.
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