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Fort Hood soldier found dead at dam likely drowned, officials say

The Bernie Beck gate at Fort Hood on June 3, 2016, in Fort Hood, Texas. (Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images/TNS)

A Fort Hood soldier found dead near a Bell County dam last week is believed to have drowned, according to authorities on Wednesday.

A group of fishermen found the body of 26-year-old Army Pvt. Mejor Morta last Friday at the base of Stillhouse Hollow Lake Dam near Belton, east of Killeen. Bell County sheriff’s deputies responded at 12:07 a.m. reports of a body in the water, investigators said.

A preliminary autopsy has determined the cause of death to be consistent with a drowning, according to investigators. A full autopsy is underway.

Morta’s family on Wednesday said they were not yet speaking with the media but did say they know only as much as the public at this time.

The Bell County sheriff’s office is leading the investigation. However, Bell County authorities said they had no more information to release.

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Officials would not say whether Morta’s death is considered suspicious, or offer possible reasons why his body may have been found at Stillhouse Hollow Lake in Bell County.

The lake is about 20 miles from Fort Hood in Killeen, where Morta was assigned.

Morta, who entered the Army in September of last year, was a Bradley fighting vehicle mechanic. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division since May.

Morta’s home address is listed as Pensacola, Florida.

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