US Army officials announced Tuesday that the body of another Fort Hood soldier has been found, marking the third time in a month that a corpse related to the Texas base has been discovered.
Pvt. Mejhor Morta, 26, of Pensacola, Florida was found unresponsive July 17 in the vicinity of Stillhouse Hollow Lake, around 15 miles from the Fort Hood base, officials said.
Stillhouse Hollow Lake is a reservoir located in Bell County that’s managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Fort Worth District.
The discovery of Morta’s body comes after the long search for 20-year-old solider Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, whose remains were first found on June 30. She was found days after search teams discovered of the corpse of missing soldier Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales, 24, on June 19. Foul play is suspected in both of their deaths.
Following the Morta’s death lawyers for Guillen’s family pointed fingers to the embattled station saying, ‘our soldiers are not safe living on this dangerous base’.
The body of a third Fort Hood soldier has been discovered near the base in a month. Pvt. Mejhor Morta, 26, of Florida was found unresponsive on July 17 near Stillhouse Hollow Lake
The discovery of Morta’s body comes after the long search for 20-year-old solider Pfc. Vanessa Guillen (left), whose remains were first found on June 30. She was found days after search teams discovered of the corpse of missing soldier Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales, 24, (right) on June 19. Foul play is suspected in both of their deaths
‘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.
Timeline of Fort Hood disappearances
August 19, 2019: Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales, 24, disappeared. He was last seen driving his personal vehicle outside of Fort Hood days before he was due to be discharged.
He was listed as a deserter by the Army one month after he was last seen.
April 22, 2020: Vanessa Guillen goes missing last seen in parking lot of base.
She disappeared after telling her family she was being sexually harassed by a sergeant on the base.
June 19, 2020: Search teams discover of the corpse of missing soldier Wedel-Morales following a tip to Army base investigators.
Remains were found a field in Killeen, just over 10 miles from Stillhouse Hollow Lake, five miles from Fort Hood.
June 30, 2020: First parts of Giullen’s remains found about 20 miles east of Fort Hood
July 17, 2020: Pvt. Mejhor Morta, 26, of Pensacola, Florida was found unresponsive July 17 in the vicinity of Stillhouse Hollow Lake, around 15 miles from the Fort Hood base.
‘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. How many more soldiers need to die before Congress agrees to convene a congressional investigation?’ she said, according to The Statesman.
The Bell County Sheriff’s Department, who is investigating the incident, is waiting for preliminary results from an autopsy before releasing any further information, Maj. T.J. Cruz, spokesman for the department, said.
Officials have not said whether the death is considered suspicious.
‘The Black Knight family is truly heartbroken by the tragic loss of Private Mejhor Morta,’ Lt. Col. Neil Armstrong, commander of 1st Brigade 5th Cavalry. Regiment, said. ‘I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.’
Morta entered the Army in September 2019 as a Bradley Fighting Vehicle mechanic.
Since May 2020, he had been assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, according to a statement from Fort Hood.
Morta’s awards and decorations include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, of Texas, disappeared from the base in Killeen, Texas on April 22. She vanished after telling her family she was being sexually harassed by a superior sergeant at the base.
Morta entered the Army in September 2019 as a Bradley Fighting Vehicle mechanic. Since May 2020, he had been assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hoos
She had left behind her car keys, identification card and wallet, launching a massive search for her fueled by social media cries of help.
It took more than two months to discover her body near the Leon River in Bell County, about 20 miles east of Fort Hood. She had been brutally dismembered, buried, and covered in concrete, the family’s lawyer said.
Authorities believe she was killed in the armory on the base by another enlisted soldier Aaron David Robinson, 20. Upon hearing about the discovery of the remains he fled Fort Hood then fatally shot himself shortly after midnight when police tried to arrest him in Killeen, Texas.
Vanessa Guillen, 20, was reported missing from Fort Hood on April 22 shortly after she told her family she was being sexually harassed and felt unsafe. She was last seen in the parking lot of her regimental engineer squadron headquarters at the Killeen, Texas, base around 1pm
The search for Guillen took place in part along the Leon River about 20 miles from the Fort Hood base after the first evidence connected with Guillen’s disappearance was found there
Morales, who was also known as Gregory Wedel, was last seen on August 19, 2019, driving his personal vehicle outside of Fort Hood. He was to be discharged within days after his disappearance, the Army said
A woman who authorities say is Robinson’s girlfriend, Cecily Aguilar, 22, was taken into custody, alleged to have assisted Robinson in disposing of Guillen’s body. On July 2 she was charged with one federal count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence.
Guillen’s remains were found not far from the remains of another missing soldier Gregory Wedel-Morales, which were first discovered on June 19 about 10 months after he vanished from the base. Official suspect foul play in his death.
He disappeared August 19, 2019 driving his personal vehicle outside of Fort Hood days before he was due to be discharged. He had been listed as a deserter for the previous 10 months.
There’s no indication that the deaths of Morales and Guillen are connected.
Vanessa’s family mourns her death during a military memorial ceremony at the Fort Hood base on July 17
Protests have unfolded in various cities in Texas denouncing the Army and Fort Hood and demanding answers into her and other disapperances at the base. A march and vigil for Guillen pictured in Austin, Texas on July 12
Juan Cruz, the boyfriend of Vanessa Guillen, kneels in front of a mural honoring her on Sunday in Houston, Texas, her hometown
On July 10 the US Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy announced a ‘full independent review’ of Guillen’s case.
Guillen’s family is now calling for a congressional investigation into the base’s handling of her case.
Guillen’s high-profile cast shed a light on how the military handles sexual abuse and harassment cases, sparking the #IAmVanessaGuillen were veterans shared their own harrowing experiences where they reported abuse and were met with retaliation.
On Tuesday members of Congress joined advocates to demand change in the military.
Fort Hood spans 218,000 acres in central Texas and has nearly 37,000 service members assigned to units including the 1st Cavalry Division, Operational Test Command and the 13th Sustainment Command.
Morta, Morales and Guillen were stationed at the Fort Hood Army Base in Killeen, Texas