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Fort Hood releases name of another soldier found dead near base

Pvt. Mejhor Morta. (U.S. Army/Released)

Fort Hood officials on Tuesday released the name of another soldier who died last week after he was found unresponsive near a lake east of Killeen.

Authorities identified the soldier as 26-year-old Pvt. Mejhor Morta of Pensacola, Florida.

Fort Hood officials in a statement on Tuesday said the soldier was found unresponsive on Friday in the vicinity of Stillhouse Lake, about 20 miles from Killeen in Bell County.

Officials did not describe the circumstances surrounding the death or say whether foul play is suspected.

The Bell County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident, Fort Hood officials said. Officials in Bell County did not return calls for comment Tuesday afternoon.

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Lt. Col. Neil Armstrong, commander of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, said in a statement Tuesday that his fellow soldiers are “truly heartbroken by the tragic loss.”

“I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and loved ones,” Armstrong said. “My thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”

Morta entered the Army in September 2019 as a Bradley Fighting Vehicle mechanic. Since May, the soldier was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

Morta’s awards and decorations include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

Morta is one of at least four Fort Hood soldiers whose bodies were found near the post this year.

The case that has received the most attention was the death of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, who authorities say was killed by fellow soldier Spc. Aaron David Robinson on April 22. Guillen’s body was also found in Bell County.

The Guillen family is now calling for a congressional investigation into the U.S. Army’s handling of the case.

“As we all know, our soldiers are not safe at Fort Hood,” Natalie Khawam, the Guillen’s attorney, said after learning of Morta’s death. “Unfortunately, this U.S. soldier’s death is consistent with our concerns, that these soldiers are living on a dangerous base and are being threatened if they speak up. Enough is enough.

“We the people demand a congressional investigation,” the attorney continued. “How many more soldiers need to die before Congress agrees to convene a congressional investigation?”

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©2020 Austin American-Statesman, Texas

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