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Death of Fort Hood soldier believed to be drowning, investigators say

Pvt. Mejhor Morta's body was found in Stillhouse Hollow Lake at the base of the Bell County Sheriff's Department said.
Credit: Fort Hood
Pvt. Mejhor Morta, 26, whose home of record is listed as Pensacola, Florida, entered the Army in in September 2019, as a Bradley Fighting Vehicle mechanic

FORT HOOD, Texas — The Bell County Sheriff's Department said a Fort Hood soldier found dead in Stillhouse Hollow Lake likely drowned.

According to a press release, Pvt. Mehjor Morta's body was found at the base of the dam just after midnight July 17.

A preliminary autopsy ordered by Justice of the Peace Garland Potvin determined the 26-year-old's death was consistent with drowning but the full autopsy has not been completed or released by the medical examiner in Dallas, the sheriff's department said.

Morta joined the Army in September 2019 as a Bradley Fighting Vehicle Mechanic and had been assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division since May 2020.

“The Black Knight family is truly heartbroken by the tragic loss of Private Mejhor Morta. I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and loved ones,” said Lt. Col. Neil Armstrong, commander of 1st Bn. 5th Cav. Regt. “My thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time. Private Morta was a great Trooper and this loss is felt by every member within our formation.”

6 News reached out to Fort Hood asking for details on if, and when, Morta was reported missing and if anyone on post searched for him.

Officials said Morta was not present for duty on July 16. As soon as he was not present for duty, his unit reportedly started searching for him and reached out to family and friends. 

Officials went on to say that there were no missing posters, AWOL or BOLO declarations. 

"Unfortunately, he was found deceased several hours later, shortly after midnight on July 17," Fort Hood said in a statement to 6 News. 

The Bell County Sheriff's Department said Morta's death remained under investigation. The department also said they were never alerted to a missing person report for Morta. 

Natalie Khawam, the attorney for the Vanessa Guillen family, released the following statement on behalf of the Guillen family, upon hearing the news of another soldier's death:

"As we all know, our soldiers are not safe at Ft. Hood. 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?! We will not accept anything less than a Congressional Investigation, and we demand one immediately! God be with all our men and women serving our country, especially those stationed at Ft. Hood! Our soldiers fight to protect us and our great country, it’s time we fight to protect them!"

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