Fifth Fort Hood Soldier Dies Since May: Officials

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
August 5, 2020US News
Fifth Fort Hood Soldier Dies Since May: Officials
Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas, 24, in a file photo. (Fort Hood)

Another Fort Hood soldier was found dead in a Texas lake over the weekend, the fifth such incident in about three months.

Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas, 24, of New York, died Sunday in a boating incident at the Stillhouse Hollow Lake, officials with Fort Hood said in a news release.

Witnesses said they saw him go under the water while on an inner tube 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 told WFXR-TV.

On July 21, 26-year-old Pvt. Mejhor Morta was found dead at Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Sheriff’s officials suspect he likely drowned.

About a month ago, Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen was found dead near the Leon River. Cecily Aguilar is currently behind bars in connection with the soldier’s death, and another suspect, Aaron Robinson, himself a Fort Hood soldier, killed himself while he was being pursued by police.

A month before, Brandon Rosecrans, 27, another soldier, was found dead about 9 miles from Fort Hood. He was shot and killed, and his body was found near a charred vehicle. No suspects have been named in his slaying.

In mid-June, soldier Gregory Morales was found dead in a field in Killeen, Texas, about 10 miles from the base, reports said. No suspects have been named in the case.

“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,” said Lt. Col. Neil Armstrong of Hernandezvargas’s death over the weekend.  “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.”

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with Gloria Guillen
President Donald Trump speaks with Gloria Guillen, the mother of Vanessa Guillen, a Fort Hood soldier found dead after disappearing from Fort Hood, Texas, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on July 30, 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

His death is currently under investigation.

Last week, President Donald Trump met with the family of Guillen.

“I saw what happened to your daughter, Vanessa, who was a spectacular person, and respected and loved by everybody, including in the military,” Trump told Guillen’s mother. He added that the FBI and Department of Justice are now involved in the case, as well as people at Fort Hood.

“We didn’t want to have this swept under the rug, which could happen,” Trump said.

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