Timeline: Army Sgt. Kelton Sphaler and Army Vet Scott Weinhold Reported Missing at Belton Lake on Fort Hood; After Search Launched, Both Recovered in Water (January 21, 2019)

Belton Lake 2

Belton Lake, Fort Hood, Texas (Photo: Hunter Davis, KXXV)

Fort Hood History:

Army SSG Devin Schuette Found Dead in Vehicle at Recreation Area Near Fort Hood; CID Ruled Suicide, Spouse Requests Independent Investigation (January 3, 2016)

Fort Hood Army Pvt. Dakota Stump Unexpectedly Found Dead on Post 3 Weeks After Vehicle Accident; Family Wants Missing ‘Warrior Alert’ Law (November 3, 2016)

Army Spc. Darius Cooper Swept Away in Floodwater Crossing at Fort Hood; Body Never Recovered, Military Board Ruled Deceased 2 Months Later (April 11, 2017)

Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (2019)

Family Support:

The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Bring Scott Weinhold Home on Facebook

Bring Scott Weinhold Home Fundraiser

“Until my son is found, there is no limit to the resources that should be brought. And if that means you have to go over the same area three times, go over the area three times.” -Jennifer Florin (Scott Weinhold’s mother)

Timeline of Events:

Who contacted Fort Hood to inform them of the three missing soldiers who were fishing on Belton Lake? Did they have cell phones? Is their any service in the area? Were their cell phones lost and/or damaged when the canoes capsized? Did authorities find the cell phones? Did the soldier who escaped to safety have a working cell phone. Were the numbers pinged?

January 21, 2019: 

Three men were reported missing in the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area (BLORA). One unidentified Fort Hood soldier was found alive; Army Sgt. Kelton Sphaler was found dead in 10 feet of water near shore; and Army veteran Scott Weinhold is still missing, search underway. Fort Hood and the Texas Game Wardens took the lead on the search for Scott. According to Hunter Davis of KXXV, three people went fishing at Belton Lake in two canoes. An unnamed soldier claimed he tipped his canoe and Scott Weinhold and Sgt. Kelton Sphaler tipped their canoes in an attempt to help him. The unnamed soldier was able to swim to safety.

January 22, 2019 (Day 1):

Scott Weinhold 1

Army veteran Scott Weinhold currently missing. Last known location is at Belton Lake, Fort Hood, Texas

Diving team recovers body after canoe accident on Lake Belton (KCEN TV | @KCENTV)

“The Morgan’s Point Resort dive team recovered a body [Sgt. Kelton Sphaler] from 10 feet of water at 2 p.m. Tuesday…The body was found on the opposite shore from Sparta Valley Park on Lake Belton…Bernstein [Bell County Game Warden] also said a capsized canoe was located at that bank, and the body was nearby. Sphaler and Scott Weinhold, a Fort Hood veteran, were missing after their canoes overturned on Lake Belton Monday night, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife officials. Another soldier managed to swim back to shore. The three had taken two motorized canoes to Lake Belton…One of the canoes turned over, and during the attempt to save it, the other also capsized.” -KCEN TV

Search crews find belongings of missing man at Belton Lake (KXXV CenTex | 25 ABC | @KXXVNewsNow)

“Weinhold’s family says search teams found his jacket, shoes and tackle box on land Thursday. His wife was called to the area to identify the belongings and she says they belonged to Weinhold. Crews will search the area on land on Friday. They will bring out fresh tracking dogs to help…Weinhold, 25, recently completed four years of military service, stationed in Central Texas. Officials are still searching for his body.” -KXXV CenTex

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (January 22, 2019)

According to the Fort Hood Fallen, family search teams found Scott’s belongings and Scott’s father was able to identify his belongings on site as part of the search team. First they found his tackle box and about 20 minutes later, they found his coat with the sleeves inside out. The Fort Hood Fallen also learned that a man in the Coast Guard and his wife volunteered to help look for Scott but were turned away by authorities who threatened to arrest them if they violated their directive.

January 23, 2019 (Day 2):

Fort Hood Professionals

Fort Hood retweeted Texas Game Warden on Twitter with note on January 23, 2019.

“Continue search for missing boater on Lake Belton; due to wind and water conditions request all volunteers stay off the lake for safety. Lake access at some boat ramps may be closed. The public is reminded land access to the search area is restricted to authorized personnel only.” @TexasGameWarden

“ATTENTION – Those private citizens who are trying to assist in the search for a missing person around Lake Belton, you can help the most by staying at home. You heart is in the right place, but please let the professionals do their job.” @FortHood

Search continues for 25-year-old Scott Weinhold [Picture] (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Update: Hunter Davis KXXV Live on Facebook [Video] (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

The search continues tonight for 25-year-old Scott Weinhold [Video] (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Search continues on Lake Belton for missing soldier (CenTexProud.com)

Search teams continue search for soldier missing since Lake Belton canoe accident (KENS 5 | @KENS5)

#Missing Scott Weinhold, Lake Belton, Belton, TX. 1/21/19 (Texas LostNMissing Facebook)

January 24, 2019 (Day 3):

Kelton Sphaler

Sgt. Kelton Sphaler, US Army

Fort Hood officials release condolence statement for 69th ADA Soldier lost in boating incident (Fort Hood Press Center)

“The three individuals were apparently in motorized canoes which overturned at approximately 3:00 p.m. on Monday while out on the lake. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has led the search and rescue which located two of the three missing boaters from the incident on Lake Belton. They were assisted by several local, state and federal agencies – including Fort Hood emergency services units and are continuing to search for the third boater involved in the incident.” -Fort Hood Press Center

(Editor’s Note: These version of events are what has been reported by the unnamed soldier who was able to swim to safety. His version of events are not confirmed or corroborated.)

Fort Hood Officials identify the man who died on Belton Lake (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Fort Hood releases statement on soldier lost in boating incident (CenTexProud.com)

“Today, Jennifer Florin says family and friends took part in the search for the first time, searching the area where emergency crews found the body of his friend with their canoe. ‘We had several canines from our agency and we had a couple first responders check on land – where we found shoes, life jackets….and we searched and searched and didn’t find any footprints, anything like that. That would tell us he’s on land,’ Campos explains. Now they think he is in the water somewhere and are now using a tail fish mechanism to find him.” -CenTexProud.com

Fort Hood releases info on soldier who died in Belton Lake boating accident (Killeen Daily Herald | @KDHNews)

Fort Hood sergeant dies in boating accident on Texas lake (Stars And Stripes | @StarsAndStripes)

Scott Weinhold’s mother says crews found his jacket, tackle box and shoes on land (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Fort Hood asks citizens to stop assisting in search for missing man; ‘let the professionals do their job’ (Central Texas News Now | 25 ABC | KXXV | @KXXVNewsNow)

Fort Hood ask citizens to stop looking for missing Lake Belton man (Missing Persons of America | @JerrieDean)

Search for boater who went missing on Lake Belton continues. -KCEN TV

Search for boater who went missing on Lake Belton continues (KCEN TV YouTube | @KCENTV)

Search continues for missing boater; soldier identified (Temple Daily Telegram | @TDTNews)

Search teams continue search for soldier missing since Lake Belton canoe accident (KCEN TV | @KCENTV)

Search teams continue search for soldier missing since Lake Belton canoe accident (MSN.com | @MSN)

Search ongoing for missing man at Belton Lake (Killeen Daily Herald | @KDHNews)

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (January 24, 2019)

“Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. While we absorb the shock of yet another Hood death, especially one where there are conflicting stories, let us not for one second forget veteran Scott Weinhold who, as of now, is still missing.” -Fort Hood Fallen

January 25, 2019 (Day 5):

Fort Hood identifies soldier lost in boating incident (Army Times | @ArmyTimes)

Day 4 of the search for Scott Weinhold (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Search continues around Lake Belton for missing boater. -KCENTV

Search continues around Lake Belton for missing boater (KCEN TV YouTube | @KCENTV

Missing boater’s items discovered during search (Temple Daily Telegram | @TDTNews)

Reports: Man from NH is missing in Texas. -WMUR TV

Reports: Man from NH is missing in Texas (WMUR TV YouTube | @WMUR9)

Search continues for missing boater; soldier identified (WMUR 9 | @WMUR9)

Search is on for former NH man in Texas lake following canoeing accident (New Hampshire Union Leader | @UnionLeader)

Parks and Wildlife Dive Team Joins the Search for Scott Weinhold (US 105 New Country | @US105fm)

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (January 25, 2019)

“As you go thru today and the coming days, we ask that you keep Scott Weinhold, who is still missing from the boating accident on Belton Lake, his family, the family of Sgt Kelton Sphaler and all their friends and brothers/sisters in arms at Ft Hood as they navigate this continued search and grief. We also ask for your prayers for Ft Hoods continued cooperation in this VERY important search.” -Fort Hood Fallen

January 26, 2019 (Day 5):

Bring Scott Weinhold Home Fundraiser (Facebook)

Family & friends have set up a go fund me (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Funeral arrangements set for soldier found Lake Belton (KWTX | @KWTX)

Funeral arrangements made for Fort Hood SSG killed after Lake Belton canoe accident (KCEN TV | @KCENNews)

Funeral set for Fort Hood SSG. killed after accident on Lake Belton (KENS 5 San Antonio | @KENS5)

January 27, 2019 (Day 6):

SSgt. Kelton Sphaler passed away on January 22, 2019 (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (January 27, 2019)

“Scott Weinhold is still missing from the fatal boating accident this week, that claimed one Ft Hood Soldiers life. Scott, a native on New Hampshire, served in the Army is an Eagle Scout and a volunteer Fireman. His family has been adamant about making sure their continued access is granted and that they are involved in the search in Belton Lake and in the surrounding area on Ft Hood Property.” -Fort Hood Fallen

January 28, 2019 (Day 7):

Funeral arrangements announced for Fort Hood soldier (CenTexProud.com)

Lake Belton fisherman still missing Monday (Temple Daily News | @TDTNews)

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (January 28, 2019)

“The Facebook portion of this research, support and advocacy mission started in October of 2016 with a Ft Hood missing soldier. Since then, we have not been as impacted by a missing warrior or his family as much we are right now. Over 1700 of you have joined us in this mission. You are our partners. We know your heart and your power…Tonite and every night until Scott Weinhold is found or returns home safely, our admins will join with his family friends to keep a light on to guide his way. We ask that you join us in doing so and pray to whatever powerful source you hold dear for justice and Scott’s safe return.” -Fort Hood Fallen

January 29, 2019 (Day 8):

Agencies continue search for missing fisherman (Temple Daily Telegram | @TDTNews)

Fake Facebook profile pretends to help family of man who went missing on Lake Belton (KCEN TV | @KCENTV)

Fake Facebook account pretends to help family of man who went missing on Lake Belton. -KCEN TV

Fake Facebook account pretends to help family of man who went missing on Lake Belton (KCEN TV YouTube | @KCENTV)

January 30, 2019 (Day 9):

Drowned Fort Hood soldier mourned at funeral (Temple Daily Telegram | @TDTNews)

Funeral services held Wednesday for Fort Hood soldier who died on Lake Belton. -KCEN TV

Funeral services held Wednesday for Fort Hood soldier who died on Lake Belton (KCEN TV YouTube | @KCENTV)

Search continues for Scott Weinhold on Lake Belton. -KCEN TV

Search continues for Scott Weinhold on Lake Belton (KCEN TV YouTube | @KCENTV)

Search continues for missing Lake Belton boater. -KCEN TV

Search continues for missing Lake Belton boater (KCEN TV YouTube | @KCENTV)
Morgan’s Point Resort dive team now searching for missing Fort Hood soldier (CenTexProud.com)

January 31, 2019 (Day 10):

Scott Weinhold Missing

The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook created this profile picture to assist the family with awareness efforts. Bring Scott Weinhold Home.

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (January 31, 2019)

Keep a Light on to Guide Him Home [Photo] (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Bring Scott Weinhold Home Facebook Page

Game Warden says full staff searches pulled back, authorities still looking for Scott Weinhold (Game-Warden.org)

February 1, 2019 (Day 11)

Jennifer Florin & Scott Weinhold

Jennifer Florin of New Hampshire and her son Army veteran Scott Weinhold of Fort Hood, Texas. (Photo: KXXV)

Interview with Jennifer Florin 1 [Video] (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Interview with Jennifer Florin 2 [Video] (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Weekend searches for missing fisherman planned; mother raises questions about incident (Temple Daily Telegram | @tdtnews)

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (February 1, 2019)

“The mission, and the only mission here at Ft Hood Fallen is to advocate for and support our countries warriors and their families at Ft Hood. There will never be another mission. We do not provide formal counseling or formal investigative services. We are always open to having as many partners in this mission of honor as possible to include civilian, law enforcement, first responders, military and governmental resources. These soldiers, first and foremost belong to their families and ultimately to this country and to it’s people. We welcome anyone who feels the same. God Bless our Best.” -Fort Hood Fallen

February 2, 2019 (Day 12):

Scott Weinhold 3

Army veteran Scott Weinhold has been missing since January 21, 2019. (Photo: Jennifer Florin)

Day 12 of Scott Weinhold Missing – Update from Mother (Jennifer Florin | Facebook)

“Day 12 begins today. Each day that I wake up, I pray that today is the day that we find you. I pray that someone searching is given the guidance to locate you and bring you back to us. The search continues and I will continue to dig and get answers today! When the moments hit me, that I just can’t breathe, take another step or make another call to dig further, somehow I receive some strength! We will find you!” -Jennifer Florin, Facebook

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (February 2, 2019)

Keep a Light on to Guide him home!! Please light a candle or keep a light on for Scott Weinhold until he is found. Here is an additional way to help. #BringScottHome

February 3, 2019 (Day 13)

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (February 3, 2019)

“For over a week, the family and authorities have been searching and while the governmental resources are being cut back, the family will not stop. There has been SIGNIFICANT activity by a private rescue dog in Belton Lake. The family needs a PRIVATE and QUALIFIED search diver IMMEDIATELY to dive for what may be their Warrior. PLEASE NOTE: Large Rescue organizations have been contacted and have offered and CANNOT participate if not invited by Wardens and/or Ft Hood which they have REFUSED to request. If you have any PRIVATE contacts or are certified yourself, please message us here immediately.” -Fort Hood Fallen

February 4, 2019 (Day 14)

Belton Lake Map

Map of Belton Lake (photo: Fort Hood Fallen)

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (February 4, 2019)

“Please talk about and share Scott’s story. Many people are still not aware. It only takes one witness who has seen anything suspicious or out of the ordinary to make a difference. Little details add up to recovery!! So please talk!!! Keep Scott in your conversations in the towns and communities around Belton Lake and definitely within a 35 miles radius.” -Fort Hood Fallen

February 5, 2019 (Day 15)

Scott Weinhold’s body recovered on Lake Belton (KCEN TV)

Scott Weinhold’s body recovered on Lake Belton (KCEN TV YouTube)
Body found in search for man who drowned in area lake (KWTX)
Body of missing fisherman, an Army veteran, located after 15 days (Killeen Daily Herald)
Body found on Lake Belton identified as Scott Weinhold (KCEN TV | @KCENTV)
Authorities confirm body found in Belton Lake is missing veteran (KXXV)
Body Found in Search for Ft. Hood Soldier at Lake Belton (KTEM)
Body Found At Belton Lake Is That Of Missing Soldier (Patch.com)
Body Found At Belton Lake Is That Of Missing Soldier (MSN.com)
Fort Hood soldier killed in boating incident laid to rest (Killeen Daily Herald)
Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (February 4, 2019)

“Words will never adequately express our humble feelings of being entrusted with this family nor will words ever be able to convey our most sincere condolences for their immense loss. A wonderful and selfless man is gone but we will never forget. Rest Easy Scott. Till Valhalla.” -The Ft Hood Fallen

Scott Weinhold Never Forgotten

(photo: The Ft. Hood Fallen)

Top 10 on Military Justice for All in 2018 (December 31, 2018)

Forensic Files

10. Air Force Sgt. Joseph Snodgrass Hired Hitmen to Kill Wife at Clark AFB in Philippines for $400,000 Life Insurance Payout; Sentenced to Life in Prison (February 26, 1991) #ForensicFiles

Homicide Hunter

9. Army Veteran Brandin Penza Stabbed 74 Times in Colorado Springs Parking Lot by Stranger; Kevin Gooley Sentenced to 32 Years in Prison (September 23, 1994) #HomicideHunter

Forbidden Dying for Love

8. Navy Master Chief John Bench Murdered Son & Attempted to Murder Wife & Daughter in Japan, Then Killed Self in Motorcycle Crash (August 30, 2009) #ForbiddenDyingforLove

ft-hood

7. Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (February 13, 2017) #NeverForget #HonorThem

Maggie Fetty

6. Army Spouse Melinda Stewart, Army Sgt. Daniel Stewart, Jill Yousaf & Army Soldier James Catlin Conspired and Murdered Homeless Colorado Teen Maggie Fetty (November 30, 1991) #HomicideHunter

A Stranger in My Home

5. Air Force Retiree Philip Inhofer Murdered by Nevada Escort for Money and 1975 Mercedes Convertible; Michelle Cummiskey Sentenced to 25 Years to Life (March 7, 1991) #AStrangerinMyHome

cold case

4. Army Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles Found Unresponsive in Vehicle at Fort Hood Housing in Texas; Initially CID Investigated as Homicide But Later Ruled Suicide (December 24, 2016) #ColdCaseJustice

Forbidden Dying for Love 2

3. Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Iraq After She Ended a Forbidden Relationship, Then Ended His Own Life (August 16, 2007) #ForbiddenDyingforLove

We Wil Never Forget

2. Fort Hood Army Spc. Zachary Moore Found Unresponsive in Barracks on Deployment to Camp Hovey, South Korea; CID Ruled Suicide (August 2, 2017) #NeverForget #HonorThem

And THANK YOU for making the MJFA Home Page our #1 for #Top10onMJFA with 85,945-4

1. Military Justice for All Home Page #ThankYou #HappyNewYear2019

Related Links:
Top 10 Posts on Military Justice for All in 2017

Killeen Daily Herald: ‘Former platoon sergeant was on leave during the [Fort Hood] rollover accident, yet found at fault’ (June 2, 2018)

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“The whole thing was hard to process. I was angry, I was pissed off, and I didn’t know how they were going to charge me,” Caroline Blaze said. “All I knew was I was being charged and I was literally done with the Army.”

Blaze said she received a local general reprimand that stayed in her records for a year around the same time she was being processed for a medical retirement. She said she was never notified or saw the recommendation for her punishment and to this day she doesn’t know what was written about her.

Blaze said she even became suicidal and had a suicide attempt several months after receiving the reprimand.

“It was a bad time and a hard time. To say that I was at fault for these soldiers lives like I caused their death.”

Read more from he Killeen Daily Herald here.

Honoring:
Spc. Christine Faith Armstrong, 27, of Twentynine Palms, California
Pfc. Brandon Austin Banner, 22, of Milton, Florida
Staff Sgt. Miguel Angel Colonvazquez, 38, of Brooklyn, New York
Pvt. Isaac Lee Deleon, 19, of San Angelo, Texas
Pfc. Zachery Nathaniel Fuller, 23, of Palmetto, Florida
Pvt. Eddy Raelaurin Gates, 20, of Dunn, North Carolina
Pvt. Tysheena Lynette James, 21, of Jersey City, New Jersey
Spc. Yingming Sun, 25, of Monterey Park, California
Cadet Mitchell Alexander Winey, 21, of Valparaiso, Indiana

Related Links:
On This Day, Eight Soldiers & One West Point Cadet Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
Military Policy & Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, & Suicide of US Service Members (2016)
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
75 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 7 Overseas Deaths, 3 Non Combat; 68 Stateside Deaths, 34 ‘Suicides’, 1 Unsolved Homicide (2018)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

2016:
Army: Warning issued before 9 died in June Fort Hood floodwaters
Torrential rains flood Texas, US soldiers killed
Fort Hood Was Closing Roads When Truck Overturned
Fort Hood Officials Were Closing Roads As Truck Overturned
Fort Hood deaths in flooding raises questions about training
Fatal Fort Hood accident raises questions about training
Fatal Fort Hood accident raises questions about training
Fatal Fort Hood accident in Texas raises questions about training
Army launches two investigations into Fort Hood truck accident that killed 9

2017:
‘Apathetic Safety Mentality’ Cited in Fort Hood Wreck That Killed 9
‘Apathetic Safety Mentality’ Cited In Fort Hood Wreck That Killed 9
Safety ‘Apathy’ Blamed in Accident at Texas’ Ft. Hood That Killed 9 US Soldiers
Report: Fort Hood truck crash blamed on driver
NCO blamed for accident that killed nine soldiers at Fort Hood
Army blames staff sergeant for fatal Fort Hood truck accident
Fort Hood truck crash that killed 9 blamed on staff sergeant
‘They never should have been out there’: Fort Hood soldier’s father struggles to understand deadly disaster
Widow disputes investigation results blaming husband for Fort Hood accident
Army report on fatal Fort Hood training largely redacted
Fort Hood: Anniversary of deaths of 9 soldiers passes quietly

2018:
Families remember the 9 who died in 2016 training accident
Reports still raise questions about Fort Hood accident two years later
Former platoon sergeant was on leave during the rollover accident, yet found at fault
Survivor of 2016 Fort Hood training accident recalls flood
Survivor of 2016 Fort Hood training accident recalls flood
2 years later: Survivor of fatal Fort Hood water training accident speaks out

Top 10 Posts on Military Justice for All in 2017

toptips10

  1. Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
  2. Navy Veteran Richard Uffelman & Two Children Opened Fire and Killed Neighbors Michael and Florence Phillips in Maine, Richard Sentenced to Life in Prison (1989)
  3. Navy Spouse Susan Russo Hired Drug Addicted Hitmen for $100 to Murder Husband David for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (1994)
  4. Navy Wife Dina Kichler Raped & Murdered in Mayport, Florida by John Brewer Shortly After her Husband Deployed for Six Months on USS Forestall (1990)
  5. Joseph Snodgrass, US Air Force, Hired Hitmen to Murder Wife Julie at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines for the $400,000 Life Insurance Payout (1991)
  6. Fort Bliss Army Commander Captain Lynn Reister Murdered by Enlisted Husband Roger and His Brother Rodney for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (2001)
  7. A Complete List of the 35 Basic Military Training Instructors Court Martialed in the Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal
  8. Air Force Retiree Philip Inhofer Murdered by Nevada Escort for Money and 1975 Mercedes Convertible; Michelle Cummiskey Sentenced to 25 Years to Life (1991)
  9. Navy Petty Officer Elise Makdessi Double Crossed & Murdered by Husband Eddie who Came Up with a Better Plan Yielding him $700,000 in Life Insurance (1996)
  10. Air Force SSgt Michael Severance Poisoned with Animal Medications by Veterinarian Wife, Wendi Davidson Plead ‘No Contest’ to First Degree Murder, Sentenced to 25 Years (2005)

10 Unsolved Military Cases

arm-cid-cold-case-krashoc-photo

Darlene Krashoc, US Army

Cold Case: Army Spc. Darlene Krashoc Sexually Assaulted, Murdered, and Dumped in Parking Lot in Colorado Springs; CID Offers $10,000 Reward (1987)

Gordon Hess

Captain Gordon Hess, US Army

Army Captain Gordon Hess Found Stabbed to Death at Fort Knox in Kentucky, Military Investigators Ruled Suicide Despite the 26 Stab Wounds to Neck & Chest Area (1998)

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Col. Philip Shue, US Air Force

Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in an Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (2003)

LaVena Johnson

Pfc. LaVena Johnson, US Army

Army Pfc LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)

Nonnie Dotson

Nonnie Dotson, US Air Force

Lackland Air Force Base Nurse Nonnie Dotson Mysteriously Disappeared, Last Seen November 19th, 2006 in Littleton, Colorado While on Leave

blanca Luna

SrA Blanca Luna, US Air Force

Cold Case: Air Force Reservist SrA Blanca Luna Discovered Stabbed to Death in Base Lodging at Sheppard AFB in Texas (2008)

5261cc1264a77-image

SSG Anton Phillips, US Army

Army SSG Anton Phillips Found Stabbed to Death at FOB Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan; CID Offering $25,000 Reward for Information (2009)

screen-shot-2017-03-24-at-12-48-18-pm

Katherine Morris, US Army Spouse

Army Spouse Katherine Morris Found Dead in Car Near Mall; Cause of Death Initially Ruled Suicide But Further Investigation Suggests Homicide Motivated by Insurance Fraud (2012)

shawn-wayne-wells

Sean Wells, US Army

Fort Bragg Army Soldier Sean Wells Gunned Down in Home by Two Masked Men in Fayetteville, Family Asks for Help Solving Case (2013)

Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 12.56.08 PM

Pvt. Justin Lewis, US Army

Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (2017)

CASES SOLVED BY NCIS COLD CASE SQUAD:

screen-shot-2016-08-07-at-7-36-01-pm

Andrew Muns, US Navy

Michael LeBrun Plead Guilty to Strangling Andrew Muns on the USS Cacapon After Caught Stealing $8,600 from Navy Ship’s Safe, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solves Case (1968)

image1

Lt Verle ‘Lee’ Hartley, US Navy

Lt Verle Lee Hartley, US Navy, Died of Arsenic Poisoning in 1982, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solved Murder 13 Years Later, Wife Pamela Plead Guilty (1982)

Related Links:
Our View: ‘Cold Case’ crimes are worth investigators’ effort
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance Benefits (SGLI)
Investigators Persisted When Army Soldier Kelli Bordeaux Disappeared in North Carolina, Convicted Sex Offender Nicholas Holbert Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder (2012)

Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017)

King copy

Jennifer Norris, USAF Retired (medical), Onyx, Senator Angus King (Maine), Stephanie Brewer, USMC Retired (medical), and Chinook | December 13, 2017

Military justice policy analyst Jennifer Norris was invited to speak in the Gold Room at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C. on December 12, 2017. The veterans organization she accompanied provided her with fifteen minutes to present and she chose to speak about the current troubling status of the Fort Hood Army post near Killeen, Texas. She also shared the stories of four Fort Hood soldiers. Marine veteran Stephanie Brewer was in attendance and assisted Jennifer with the presentation of the material. Stephanie created a powerpoint presentation to help the audience see these soldier’s faces and remind them that they matter and their families love them. After the presentation, they visited Senator John McCain’s office (Chair, Senate Armed Services Committee), Representative Mac Thornberry’s Office (Chair, House Armed Services Committee), Senator Ted Cruz’s Office (supports the Military Justice Improvement Act), Senator Susan Collin’s Office (supports the MJIA), and finally Senator Angus King’s Office (who has consistently voted against the MJIA). While attending a constituent’s coffee event at Senator King’s office, these veterans inquired about the status of the retaliation law’s promised by Senator Claire McCaskill’s office. The response:

I wanted to follow up on our meeting yesterday by forwarding some information about efforts to prevent retaliation against servicemembers who report crimes.

The first important step is gathering data on retaliation so that leadership can best figure out how to address the issue. The DOD includes statistics on retaliation in its annual reports on sexual assault and reporting. They recently changed the way that they gather the data so that they can get a more accurate picture of which servicemembers experience the type of behavior that qualifies legally as retaliation under the UCMJ. As I mentioned yesterday, the data doesn’t go back very far- the DOD has only been collecting this information for a year. As the database grows, so will the DOD’s understanding of the real scope and nature of the problem. This should help target solutions.

A number of lawmakers are really committed to addressing this problem, as well. Senator McCaskill from Missouri introduced a bill last year that aimed to prevent military retaliation. Senator King cosponsored the bill. A summary is available here.

The bill didn’t move out of committee, so Senator McCaskill or another member might try to reintroduce it later. Another possibility is that next year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) could include similar language.

-Senator Angus King’s Office

These veterans were successful at setting up times to meet with defense fellows at Thornberry, Collins, and King’s offices. They also stopped into Senator McCain’s office to get the scheduling contact information for him because he consistently does not get back to one. They gave the same Fort Hood presentation to the defense fellows as the one they gave in the Gold Room except this time they had more time to discuss each individual. If it was up to these veterans, they would sit there all day and talk about every single soldier because all their lives matter. Overall, they report the active duty fellows they met with were receptive. They illustrated that the common theme with the four soldiers discussed is involvement in the military justice system in one way or another. The following presentation helps you get an understanding of the issues at bases nationwide by telling you the stories of four Fort Hood soldiers and their experiences in the last couple of years. All had mental health issues and three are dead. The other soldier is in federal prison for eighteen months for a threatening phone call he made to Fort Hood. This incident occurred after he was exonerated of a crime and released from a military prison yet stonewalled and dismissed when he asked about his backpay.

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Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood

Last time I was in DC in September 2016, I provided my Senator with military policy recommendations that would benefit families who doubt a cause of death ruling. I highlighted a need for compassionate care for families, independent investigations, and cold case squads in the Army and the Air Force, much like the NCIS Cold Case Squad. Sadly it appears the military has a history of ruling what looks like a homicide as a suicide. One of the most publicized examples is that of Pfc. LaVena Johnson. The Army ruled LaVena’s death a suicide but an independent autopsy revealed she was raped and murdered. To this day, the Army will not cooperate with the family of LaVena Johnson who has begged them to find their daughter’s killer. The alarming stateside death rate at Fort Hood alone only strengthens the resolve to continue asking for mental health and criminal justice reform in the military.

73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide

“Simple enough answer, between incompetent leaders, the drugs, the gang bangers, poor units, ghetto neighborhoods, poor quality soldiers, and just being in Texas, this place is where souls go to die… Hood kills you on the inside. The outside follows shortly afterwards..” -Anonymous

Fact: In the last two years, more soldiers at Fort Hood died stateside than overseas. The six non combat deaths that occurred overseas were insider attacks (4) and death ruled suicide by the Army CID (2). The following numbers are the specifics at Fort Hood in Texas since January 2016.

73 deaths at Fort Hood since January 1, 2016. 

  • As of August 2017, 9,300 soldiers from Fort Hood were currently deployed across the globe, this is more than a 1/4 of the 35,000 troops stationed there
  • Average age of death is 28 years old
  • Average 1.5 suspected suicides per month since January 2016
  • 6 overseas deaths to include 4 insider attacks and 2 suicides
  • 67 stateside deaths to include 34 alleged suicides (13 soldiers had no known deployments; 21 soldiers had deployed to Korea, Iraq, or Afghanistan)
  • 1 unsolved homicide in Killeen, Texas (Justin Lewis)
  • 11 died in training accidents, 9 died in one training incident

6 OVERSEAS DEATHS

4 insider attacks, Afghanistan; 2 non combat deaths, Iraq & Korea

10/20/16: Douglas Riney, 26, US Army (ambushed and shot to death by lone gunman in Afghanistan Army uniform); 11/12/16: Tyler Iubelt, 20, US Army (suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s day fun run, Afghanistan); 11/12/16: John Perry, 30, US Army (suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s Day fun run, Afghanistan); 12/06/16: Allan Brown, 46, US Army (succumbed to injuries, suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s Day fun run, Afghanistan); 02/21/17: Brian Odiorne, 21, US Army (ruled suicide by CID, Iraq); 08/02/17: Zachary Moore, 23, US Army (ruled suicide by CID, Korea)

67 STATESIDE DEATHS

3 homicides off base

01/05/16: Jonathan ‘Mike’ Gilotti, 33, US Army Veteran (gunshot wound, Alabama; Charleston Wells, 16, Ahmad Johnson, 18, Darrian Bryant, 16, and De’Ron Lucas, 19, charged with murder; Wells found not guilty); 04/17/17: Justin Lewis, 19, US Army (shot & killed near vacant lot in neighborhood near post in Killeen, Texas; unsolved homicide); 05/05/17: Travis Granger, 29, US Army Veteran (gunshot wound, 27 year old Keith Marinnie charged with murder)


A Fort Hood soldier spoke candidly about what they say the reality of living on the Texas military base is like. (2014) –CNN

13 found dead on post

01/03/16: Devin Schuette, 35, US Army (missing, found dead at on-post recreation area, Army CID ruled death suicide); 06/06/16: Bernardino Guevara Jr., 21, US Army (gunshot wound, Sportsmen’s Center); 07/12/16: Alexander Johnson, 21, US Army (found dead near BLORA paintball court); 08/19/16: Dion Servant, 24, US Army (found dead in barracks); 09/13/16: Andrew Hunt, 23, US Army (officer found dead at on post residence); 12/24/16: Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, US Army (found dead at base housing, death ruled suicide by Army CID); 01/11/17: Alex Taylor, 23, US Army (found unresponsive at place of duty on post); 01/12/17: Zackary Partin, 24, US Army (found dead in barracks room on post); 02/05/17: Steven Hines, 29, US Army (CID Agent found dead behind office building of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, death ruled suicide); 02/27/17: Andre Nance, 34, US Army (found dead at Fort Rucker, Alabama hotel); 04/07/17: Daniel Wildeman, 40, US Army (found unresponsive in barracks room); 07/11/17: Justen Ogden, 22, US Army (found unresponsive at on post residence); 10/12/17: Angel BenitezQuinones, 32, US Army (found unresponsive on post)

21 found dead off post

01/16/16: Troy Wayman, 45, US Army (military officer found dead of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Nolanville apartment, death ruled suicide); 03/14/16: Brian Reed, 40, US Army (gunshot wound, Copperas Cove residence); 03/20/16: Andrew Poznick, 45, US Army (military officer found dead at off-post residence near Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania, death ruled suicide); 03/20/16: Steven Lewis, 33, US Army (self-inflicted wound, off-post residence, Killeen); 05/01/16: John Stobbe, 31, US Army (death ruled suicide at off-post residence, Killeen); 05/23/16: Marcus Nelson, 45, US Army (death ruled suicide at Bell County jail); 06/10/16: Duane Shaw III, 34, US Army (death ruled suicide at off-post home, Temple); 08/04/16: Calvin Aguilar, 32, US Army (found unresponsive in Copperas Cove, Texas); 09/17/16: Nathan Berg, 20, US Army (died of gunshot wound off post in Killeen); 10/07/16: Bradley Acker, 25, US Army (death ruled suicide, Copperas Cove, Texas); 10/15/16: Douglas Bailey, 24, US Army (found dead at off post residence); 11/16/16: Kevin Paulino, 24, US Army (died of self-inflicted gunshot wound in Indiana); 11/18/16: Korey James, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at off post residence, Killeen); 11/26/16: Wanya Bruns, 20, US Army (self-inflicted gunshot wound off-post, Killeen); 01/02/17: Randal Anderson, 22, US Army (died from gunshot wound off-post, Killeen); 02/06/17: Christie Anderson, 44, US Army (found dead at off post residence, Killeen); 05/14/17: Jon Bullard, 40, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Belton, Texas); 06/15/17: Devon Tucker, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Copperas Cove); 07/26/17: Deangelo Mathis, 22, US Army (found unresponsive in Sly County, Georgia); 10/14/17: John Hatfield, 27, US Army (died of a gunshot wound off-post in Killeen); 10/18/17: Luke Toomey, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Copperas Cove)

11 died in training accidents

06/02/16: Christine Armstrong, 27, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Brandon Banner, 22, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Miguel Colonvazquez, 38, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Isaac Deleon, 19, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Zachary Fuller, 23, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Eddy Gates, 20, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Tysheena James, 21, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Yingming Sun, 25, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Mitchell Winey, 21, US Military Academy (died in flood training incident); 02/17/17: Michael Garcia, 29, US Army (died in vehicle training accident); 09/12/17: Sean Devoy, 28, US Army (died in fall during helicopter hoist training)

3 died from unspecified medical issues

11/10/16: Daniel Monibe, 32, US Army (died of illness); 01/01/17: Kai Yancey, 26, US Army (died after complications from short illness); 10/05/17: Derrick Walker, 40, US Army (died of a long-term illness)

7 died in motorcycle accidents

05/09/16: Ellsworth Raup, 33, US Army (rear ended a van in Killeen, Texas); 06/05/16: Antino Glass, 34, US Army (struck livestock on Fort Hood); 08/01/16: Logan Rainwater, 24, US Army (SUV turned in front of him in Killeen); 09/09/16: Stacy Hardy, 20, US Army (slammed into minivan, eluding Killeen PD); 03/26/17: Jonathan Garcia, 29, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, for reasons unclear, bike lost control on curve, veered off road, & struck cable barrier); 07/03/17: Anthony Lovell, 40, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, failed to negotiate a turn, left the roadway, went airborne into creek in Killeen); 07/14/17: James Smith, 24, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, lost control of bike on I-35 in Temple)

4 died in automobile accidents

03/06/16: Sean Van Der Wal, 25, US Army (fatal auto collision with truck on I-35; driver & Fort Hood soldier Timothy Corder charged with intoxication manslaughter); 06/11/16: Dougal Mitchell, 32, US Army (driving the wrong way on State Highway 195, vehicle collided with another driven by Mikeshia Ruiz, 23, who died at scene); 11/03/16: Dakota Stump, 19, US Army (missing for 3 weeks, fatal auto accident on post that occurred night he went missing, family wants missing ‘Warrior Alert’ law); 01/07/17: Barron Von Reichelt, 24, US Army (died from injuries suffered in an automobile crash on South Range Road at Fort Hood)

4 died unexpectedly

04/16/17: David Ananou, 30, US Army (death by apparent drowning at Temple Lake Park); 10/14/17: Sameer Chalise, 28, US Army (died due to injuries while swimming, Mansfield); 02/18/17: Sean Callahan, 31, US Army (passed away unexpectedly in Iowa); 04/11/17: Darius Cooper, 40, US Army (declared dead by board of inquiry after went missing when car swept away in low water crossing)

1 self inflicted & officer involved shooting

10/12/17: Alva Gwinn, 39, US Army (accused of sex crime; command directed ‘wellness check’ initiated 1 month before trial; shot at by police but died of self inflicted gunshot wound after high speed car chase)

Master Sergeant Alva Joe Gwinn

MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn, US Army

Fort Hood Army MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn Lead Police on High Speed Car Chase After Wellness Check Initiated; Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound (October 12, 2017)

Fort Hood Army Master Sergeant Alva Joe Gwinn, 39, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on October 12, 2017 at the Williamson-Bell County line in Texas. Family contacted the Fort Hood chain of command to report that Alva was experiencing a mental health breakdown and may be suicidal. The command asked the Killeen Police Department to do a ‘wellness check’ on MSG Gwinn who was located in his car. MSG Gwinn then lead police on a high speed car chase after they attempted to approach him. MSG Gwinn’s home of record is listed as Richwood, West Virginia. He entered active-duty military service in September 1999 as a combat engineer and was assigned to 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood since April 2012.

According to reports, Alva fled on foot after the high speed chase with police. He shot at the police at least once and they fired back but in the end he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. In June 2016, Alva Gwinn was arrested, indicted and charged with the aggravated sexual assault of a 12 year old girl in 2012. Alva was scheduled to go to trial for the aggravated sexual assault charge in November 2017. Alva Gwinn had served in the Army for twelve years and was a highly decorated combat veteran known for being a perfectionist. MSG Gwinn deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan a total of five times while he served in the US Army.

Areas of Concern:

  • In October 2017, the Fort Hood chain of command asked the Killeen Police Department to do a ‘wellness check’ on Alva Gwinn; family reported he was suffering what appeared to be a mental health breakdown & may be suicidal
  • The police located Alva in his car but he took off when approached and then lead the police on a high speed car chase that ended with Alva fatally shooting himself
  • How can we prevent a ‘wellness check’ from turning into an officer involved shooting, suicide by cop or suicide? Why the high speed car chase?
  • Alva was facing an aggravated sexual assault trial in November 2017
  • Whether guilty or innocent, this is a tragic end for a man accused of a crime
  • What does the Army do with the accused who are awaiting criminal trial?
  • Is Fort Hood responsible for the mental health of those accused of crimes?

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Pfc. Thomas Chestnut, US Army

Wrongful Conviction: Fort Hood Army Soldier Thomas Chestnut’s Guilty Verdict was Overturned by the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals (December 14, 2016)

Fort Hood Army soldier Thomas Chestnut, 28, was freed from a Kansas military prison on December 23, 2016 after an appellate court overturned a guilty verdict on December 14, 2016. The Army Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction finding evidence in the case as “factually insufficient.” The case stems from an accusation by a third party of a sexual assault of a man in August 2012 at Fort Sam Houston near San Antonio, Texas. Chestnut was charged and found guilty by a military jury on one count of sexual assault and found not guilty of one specification of assault consummated by a battery. Chestnut testified that the encounter with the other soldier was consensual and the third party was trying to deflect attention from himself. Chestnut was sentenced on July 2, 2014 to three years in prison at Fort Leavenworth, a reduction in rank to private, and forfeiture of all pay. After Thomas Chestnut was exonerated, he was entitled to back pay and an honorable discharge from the military when he completed his time in service. Thomas was honorably discharged from the Army in January 2017 but had not yet been able to get his back pay. Thomas shared his thoughts on his wrongful conviction and his two and a half year imprisonment in mostly solitary confinement for a crime he didn’t commit.

“How could I respect the authority of such a corrupt system and such a corrupt institution? Not after what they did to me, to us, as I am not alone in this you see. Hundreds of my fellow veterans have also been falsely accused and forced into prison. Obviously, the military leadership lacks the maturity and ethics to handle sexual assault cases in a balanced adult way. They should not have authority in these matters.” via Save Our Heroes

Thomas Chestnut spent 2 1/2 years in prison where he was placed in solitary confinement and allegedly abused by prison guards. Thomas admits the prejudiced military justice system, corruption, and prison experience traumatized him. He most likely suffers from a form of institutional abuse. In December 2016, the appeals court overturned his conviction, he was cleared of all charges, released from prison, and promised back pay. Thomas stated: “I have nothing. No place of my own, no car, and little money. The Army has no plan for someone with a case overturned, so I’ve been more or less thrown out on the street.” Thomas Chestnut most likely has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after the betrayal by the military justice system and the abuse he endured in prison marked as a man who rapes other men. In February 2017, Chestnut attempted to get his back pay from the Army as he had nothing, no job, no place to live, no means to take care of himself. The Army didn’t help him or give him the answers he deserved when it came to his backpay.

At this point, Thomas most likely had a post traumatic stress meltdown simply from having to deal with the same institution that wrongfully convicted him of a crime. After he didn’t get the answers he deserved regarding his back pay, he got angry and threatened to harm individuals at Fort Hood. As a result, Chestnut was arrested by FBI agents and charged with making threats to kill individuals at Fort Hood. Thomas has been in federal custody ever since he made the threats and now the life that he may have had a second chance at was taken away from him again. Obviously, Thomas shouldn’t have threatened to kill individuals at Ft Hood but the backpay issue and the fact he has PTSD should have been a mitigating factor in this case. For example, the state of destitution he was in and his legitimate need for money to sustain and take care of himself most likely triggered his post traumatic stress symptoms. He was desperate and the Army’s indifference and stonewalling most likely caused an already emotionally fragile man to disassociate and lash out. If he was within the state’s jurisdiction, chances are he would have access to a veteran’s court that would fight to give him another chance. Instead, Thomas Chestnut is in federal prison for 18 months for one threatening phone call.

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Spc. Zachary Moore, US Army

Fort Hood Army Spc. Zachary Moore Found Unresponsive in Barracks on Deployment to Camp Hovey, South Korea; CID Ruled Suicide (August 2, 2017)

Spc. Zachary Moore, 23, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was found unresponsive August 1, 2017 in his barracks room at Camp Hovey in South Korea. Spc. Moore was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital and pronounced deceased on August 2, 2017. Spc. Moore entered active-duty military service in March 2014 as a signal support systems specialist. He was assigned to the 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood in Texas since July 2016. The circumstances surrounding the incident were investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the cause of death was ruled a suicide.

Was Zachary Moore’s Death Preventable?

In May 2017, Fort Hood announced they were deploying 3,500 troops to South Korea over the summer. Twenty-three (23) year old Zachary Moore was one of the soldiers deployed to South Korea. With full knowledge of Zachary’s recent mental health issues, the Chain of Command gave him a mental health waiver against his will, and most likely against medical advice, so they could deploy him to South Korea.

In October 2016, Zachary had a mental health breakdown and went Absent without Leave (AWOL). After a successful intervention, Zachary was found and returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Zachary’s command then sent him to an emergency room where he was hospitalized and prescribed medication. After Zachary was discharged from the hospital, he continued to seek treatment for mental health issues. Six months later, Zachary was given a mental health waiver by his command to deploy to South Korea.

About a month after Zachary arrived at Camp Hovey in South Korea, his depression medication was changed. As a matter of fact, his depression medication was changed the day before he was found unresponsive in his barracks room. Zachary attempted to kill himself on August 1st, less than 24 hours after the medication change. It was Zachary who called his Command for help as there is no 911 on the base in South Korea. He was found unresponsive and finally transported to the hospital about 1 ½ to 2 hours later. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, listed as critical then stable, yet passed away on August 2, 2017.

Why did Zachary Moore go AWOL?

The Chain of Command contacted Jeanette to report Zachary hadn’t been seen since October 18, 2016. They also informed her they were not actively looking for him but would file AWOL status on October 20th. When asked if they filed a missing persons report, Jeanette claims they told her they did but she says she was lead to believe Zachary trashed his room, took his things, and left willingly. She immediately flew to Texas from Florida to find him.

Jeanette contacted the Killeen Police Department as soon as she got to Fort Hood and the local law enforcement found Zachary the same day she arrived. Over the phone, the Command told Jeanette they filed a missing persons report but she learned from the Killeen Police Department that they never did. The Killeen PD noticed recent activity on Facebook so they pinged Zach’s cell phone & found that he was in a remote area of a local state park.

Zachary attempted to flee initially but after negotiations, he surrendered and was returned to the police station where his mom was waiting. Jeanette could tell Zachary was mentally broken and he admitted to her that he wanted to hurt himself.  The Killeen PD found Zachary and he had a knife in his possession. Zachary was returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Shortly after Zachary informed his mom that his superiors told him to tell her to leave town and stop interfering.

Jeanette reports that Zachary never had any mental health issues prior to this and suspected that Zachary was “singled out by his command and harassed.”

Areas of Concern in Zachary Moore’s Case:

  • Zachary revealed he was harassed by his Chain of Command. For example, his leave papers to visit family before deploying were denied; he was denied permission to see the Fort Hood Inspector General officer; he was harassed during training exercises; he was given exhausting extra duties; and was accused of taking a radio which was later found on a military officer’s desk. Why was he denied the opportunity to speak to the IG officer?
  • Zachary was accused of trashing his room and taking his belongings when he went AWOL. Jeanette believes the circumstances surrounding the vandalism of his room and the theft of his property could be evidence of harassment.
  • During mental health treatment, Zachary was facing the consequences of going AWOL; Zachary was accused of trashing his own room; and Zachary was accused of stealing a secure radio? What are the additional mental health impacts of the way the Chain of Command uses the military justice system?
  • The circumstances of the mental health waiver and the justifications for sending Zachary to South Korea while he was undergoing treatment for mental health issues and medication management should be investigated.
  • The effects of the medication change in South Korea should be investigated. Is Command aware that some medications can cause serious negative reactions? (Some depression medication causes suicidal ideation.) Who monitors serious medication changes in deployed locations? Is it safe to deploy soldiers in the early phases of medication management for mental health issues?
  • Finally, the delay in the Command’s response to Zachary’s call for help in South Korea should be investigated. Why did it take so long to respond to Zachary and why did it take so long to get Zachary to the hospital? Did anyone attempt to administer help while waiting for the ambulance?
  • If the Command was the cause of the mental health break, where was Zachary supposed to turn? How do we hold the Chain of Command accountable? How do we prevent the Chain of Command from retaliating and using the military justice system or non judicial punishment as a weapon? What was the role of the Commander? What was the role of the Fort Hood Inspector General? How can we prevent a young soldier from feeling like the only way out of their situation is AWOL or suicide? How could we have prevented Zachary’s death?
  • Soldiers have come forward, given their stories to the family and have offered to testify about what Zachary was put through which may explain why he died. Were these soldiers questioned?

Source: Jeanette Nazario (Zachary Moore’s mom)

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Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles, US Army

Army Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles Found Unresponsive in Vehicle at Fort Hood Housing in Texas; Initially CID Investigated as Homicide But Later Ruled Suicide (December 24, 2016)

Army Private Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, was found unresponsive in her vehicle at Fort Hood housing in Texas on Christmas eve, December 24, 2016. Private Fontenot Briles is from Kaplin, Louisiana and joined the Army in February 2015. Pvt. Fontenot Briles was assigned to Fort Hood as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. She deployed to Kuwait shortly after completing Advanced Individual Training (AIT). She returned stateside early in December 2015 after she was injured in the line of duty. In November 2016, she was assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. Pvt. Fontenot Briles was going to be discharged from the Army in February 2017 and had plans to attend dental hygienist school. Family report that Pvt. Fontenot Briles cause of death was determined a homicide by the Army but the Bell County coroner’s office made a suicide determination. The Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) ruled the cause of death as suicide.

Background:

Paige joined the U.S. Army in February 2015 & was permanently assigned to Fort Hood as a wheeled vehicle mechanic after Advanced Individual Training (AIT). Paige shared with her family that she was raped by her recruiter before she went to Fort Jackson for basic training but she did not report the incident. Shortly after arriving to Fort Hood, Paige was deployed to Kuwait in October 2015. Although she returned home early in December 2015 after being found unresponsive under a vehicle. She was injured in the line of duty and the only thing she shared with her family was that she “saw things no one should ever have to see.”

Paige met and married another soldier she hadn’t known that long in January 2016 upon her return home from Kuwait. According to Army CID, they learned that the marriage was contractual and the two did in fact share a home up until recently. When Paige met her husband, she had already experienced multiple traumas from the rape and her experience in Kuwait; she was vulnerable. After a few months of marriage, Paige got pregnant but her “husband” did not want a child and convinced her to get an abortion in August 2016. It was at this point, Paige had a mental health breakdown and was hospitalized for 28 days. She was eventually transferred to the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) in November 2016.

image1The WTU allowed Paige to escape the unhealthy arrangement she was trapped in with her contractual husband and she was starting to feel better after being free of him for a couple months. Family reports that Paige decided to get out of the military, move back in with her sister and parents, and pursue an education as a dental hygienist. Paige was expected to discharge in February 2017. Paige put in leave to go home for Christmas in December 2016 but it was denied. Paige took a picture of herself on SnapChat and sent it to her contacts on Christmas Eve. She wrote “here’s to another Christmas alone.” And the Army wants us to believe that 30 minutes later, Paige would be dead by her own hand.

On the night in question, Paige drove to a friend’s house on post. She was house sitting for them while they were out of town. About an hour later, Paige was found unresponsive in the driver’s seat in her vehicle in the parking lot outside her friend’s home. She had been stabbed. Initially the Army investigated the death as a homicide but in December 2017, the family was informed that the cause of death was ruled a suicide. Less than two years in the Army and Paige was gone. She told her parents she was raped, she saw things in Kuwait no one should ever see, and that she was in an unhealthy relationship with a man she was trying to escape. Paige had been through hell in her short time in the Army but she had hope. She knew she was returning to Louisiana to a loving family and a sister who was her best friend. She didn’t feel so trapped that suicide was the only way out.

Paige had a second chance at life in just a couple months when she was going to be discharged. Paige’s parents want their daughter’s case investigated as a homicide. They provided the Army CID with a person of interest. They had interaction and negative experiences with the person of interest. They shared their first hand interactions (witness testimony) and their concerns with CID but felt their experiences and observations were dismissed. They know their daughter was not suicidal because she was due to get out of the Army in February 2017 and she had plans. When questioned if the Army CID ever investigated the person of interest, Paige’s family responded with “the Army CID never investigated any persons of interest.” As a matter of fact, the Army discharged the soldier these parents suspected was the person of interest.

What happens when the Army discharges a soldier who may be a person of interest? They in effect give up jurisdiction of the soldier once they become a civilian unless they are retired. The soldier who was considered a ‘person of interest’ by the family was discharged for disciplinary reasons. Enter across state line jurisdictional issues and the Federal Bureau of Investigation who appears to want to steer clear of cases on military bases. The parents report that initially Paige’s stabbing death was investigated as a homicide yet in the end, despite the autopsy, forensics, suspicious circumstances in her life, and the parents testimony, Paige’s death was ruled a suicide by the Army CID. Once a death is ruled a suicide, the investigation is over and the US Army never has to investigate again.

How does the family get justice for Paige?

Source: Teri Fontenot (Paige Briles’ mom)

Related Links:
Army Veteran Tomas Young Dies at 34; Shot & Paralyzed on Black Sunday in 2004 on Peace Keeping Mission with Fort Hood in Sadr City, Iraq (2014)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
Army Pfc LaVena Johnson of Fort Campbell Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Family seeks answers after NC soldier Justin Lewis slain in Texas
Killeen Calling in Feds to Combat Crime
Gangs in the US Army Documentary
Seeking Justice with Change Your POV
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

78 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 7 Overseas Deaths, 3 Non Combat; 71 Stateside Deaths, 37 ‘Suicides’, 1 Unsolved Homicide (2018)

“Simple enough answer, between incompetent leaders, the drugs, the gang bangers, poor units, ghetto neighborhoods, poor quality soldiers, and just being in Texas, this place is where souls go to die… Hood kills you on the inside. The outside follows shortly afterwards..” -Anonymous

Fact: In the last two years, more soldiers at Fort Hood died stateside than overseas. The six non combat deaths that occurred overseas were insider attacks (4) and death ruled suicide by the Army CID (2). The following numbers are the specifics at Fort Hood in Texas since January 2016.

78 deaths at Fort Hood since January 1, 2016. 

  • As of August 2017, 9,300 soldiers from Fort Hood were currently deployed across the globe, this is more than a 1/4 of the 35,000 troops stationed there
  • Average age of death is 28 years old
  • Average 1.5 suspected suicides per month since January 2016
  • 7 overseas deaths to include 4 insider attacks and 3 non combat deaths
  • 71 stateside deaths to include 37 alleged suicides (13 soldiers had no known deployments; 24 soldiers had deployed to Korea, Iraq, or Afghanistan)
  • 1 unsolved homicide in Killeen, Texas (Justin Lewis)
  • 11 died in training accidents, 9 died in one training incident

PLEASE READ THIS: Injured Heroes, Broken Promises: Army Launches Investigation Inside Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Unit (February 21, 2015)

7 OVERSEAS DEATHS

4 insider attacks in Afghanistan

  1. 10/20/16: Douglas Riney, 26, US Army (ambushed and shot to death by lone gunman in Afghanistan Army uniform)
  2. 11/12/16: Tyler Iubelt, 20, US Army (suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s day fun run, Afghanistan)
  3. 11/12/16: John Perry, 30, US Army (suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s Day fun run, Afghanistan)
  4. 12/06/16: Allan Brown, 46, US Army (succumbed to injuries, suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s Day fun run, Afghanistan)

2 non combat deaths in Iraq

  1. 02/21/17: Brian Odiorne, 21, US Army (ruled suicide by CID, Iraq)
  2. 01/08/18: Javion Sullivan, 24, US Army (non-combat related incident, Iraq)

1 non combat death in Korea

  1. 08/02/17: Zachary Moore, 23, US Army (ruled suicide by CID, Korea)

71 STATESIDE DEATHS

3 homicides off base

  1. 01/05/16: Jonathan ‘Mike’ Gilotti, 33, US Army Veteran (gunshot wound, Alabama; Charleston Wells, 16, Ahmad Johnson, 18, Darrian Bryant, 16, and De’Ron Lucas, 19, charged with murder; Wells found not guilty)
  2. 04/17/17: Justin Lewis, 19, US Army (shot & killed near vacant lot in neighborhood near post in Killeen, Texas; unsolved homicide)
  3. 05/05/17: Travis Granger, 29, US Army Veteran (gunshot wound, 27 year old Keith Marinnie charged with murder)

16 found dead on post

  1. 01/03/16: Devin Schuette, 35, US Army (missing, found dead at on-post recreation area, Army CID ruled death suicide)
  2. 06/06/16: Bernardino Guevara Jr., 21, US Army (gunshot wound, Sportsmen’s Center)
  3. 07/12/16: Alexander Johnson, 21, US Army (found dead near BLORA paintball court)
  4. 08/19/16: Dion Servant, 24, US Army (found dead in barracks)
  5. 09/13/16: Andrew Hunt, 23, US Army (officer found dead at on post residence)
  6. 12/24/16: Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, US Army (found dead at base housing, death ruled suicide by Army CID)
  7. 01/11/17: Alex Taylor, 23, US Army (found unresponsive at place of duty on post)
  8. 01/12/17: Zackary Partin, 24, US Army (found dead in barracks room on post)
  9. 02/05/17: Steven Hines, 29, US Army (CID Agent found dead behind office building of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, death ruled suicide)
  10. 02/27/17: Andre Nance, 34, US Army (found dead at Fort Rucker, Alabama hotel)
  11. 04/07/17: Daniel Wildeman, 40, US Army (found unresponsive in barracks room)
  12. 07/11/17: Justen Ogden, 22, US Army (found unresponsive at on post residence)
  13. 10/12/17: Angel BenitezQuinones, 32, US Army (found unresponsive on post)
  14. 01/06/18: Mark Boner, 43, Army National Guard (Army: ‘It’s unclear at this time what led to his death’)
  15. 03/01/18: Colton Vassar, 29, US Army (found unresponsive at on-post residence)
  16. 03/03/18: Devon Wulff, 23, US Army (found unresponsive at on-post residence)

22 found dead off post

  1. 01/16/16: Troy Wayman, 45, US Army (military officer found dead of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Nolanville apartment, death ruled suicide)
  2. 03/14/16: Brian Reed, 40, US Army (gunshot wound, Copperas Cove residence)
  3. 03/20/16: Andrew Poznick, 45, US Army (military officer found dead at off-post residence near Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania, death ruled suicide)
  4. 03/20/16: Steven Lewis, 33, US Army (self-inflicted wound, off-post residence, Killeen)
  5. 05/01/16: John Stobbe, 31, US Army (death ruled suicide at off-post residence, Killeen)
  6. 05/23/16: Marcus Nelson, 45, US Army (death ruled suicide at Bell County jail)
  7. 06/10/16: Duane Shaw III, 34, US Army (death ruled suicide at off-post home, Temple)
  8. 08/04/16: Calvin Aguilar, 32, US Army (found unresponsive in Copperas Cove, Texas)
  9. 09/17/16: Nathan Berg, 20, US Army (died of gunshot wound off post in Killeen)
  10. 10/07/16: Bradley Acker, 25, US Army (death ruled suicide, Copperas Cove, Texas)
  11. 10/15/16: Douglas Bailey, 24, US Army (found dead at off post residence)
  12. 11/16/16: Kevin Paulino, 24, US Army (died of self-inflicted gunshot wound in Indiana)
  13. 11/18/16: Korey James, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at off post residence, Killeen)
  14. 11/26/16: Wanya Bruns, 20, US Army (self-inflicted gunshot wound off-post, Killeen)
  15. 01/02/17: Randal Anderson, 22, US Army (died from gunshot wound off-post, Killeen)
  16. 02/06/17: Christie Anderson, 44, US Army (found dead at off post residence, Killeen)
  17. 05/14/17: Jon Bullard, 40, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Belton, Texas)
  18. 06/15/17: Devon Tucker, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Copperas Cove)
  19. 07/26/17: Deangelo Mathis, 22, US Army (found unresponsive in Sly County, Georgia)
  20. 10/14/17: John Hatfield, 27, US Army (died of a gunshot wound off-post in Killeen)
  21. 10/18/17: Luke Toomey, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Copperas Cove)
  22. 01/18/18: Tyler Compton, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at off-post residence in Harker Heights)

11 died in training accidents

  1. 06/02/16: Christine Armstrong, 27, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  2. 06/02/16: Brandon Banner, 22, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  3. 06/02/16: Miguel Colonvazquez, 38, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  4. 06/02/16: Isaac Deleon, 19, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  5. 06/02/16: Zachary Fuller, 23, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  6. 06/02/16: Eddy Gates, 20, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  7. 06/02/16: Tysheena James, 21, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  8. 06/02/16: Yingming Sun, 25, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  9. 06/02/16: Mitchell Winey, 21, US Military Academy (died in flood training incident)
  10. 02/17/17: Michael Garcia, 29, US Army (died in vehicle training accident)
  11. 09/12/17: Sean Devoy, 28, US Army (died in fall during helicopter hoist training)

3 died from unspecified medical issues

  1. 11/10/16: Daniel Monibe, 32, US Army (died of illness)
  2. 01/01/17: Kai Yancey, 26, US Army (died after complications from short illness)
  3. 10/05/17: Derrick Walker, 40, US Army (died of a long-term illness)

7 died in motorcycle accidents

  1. 05/09/16: Ellsworth Raup, 33, US Army (rear ended a van in Killeen, Texas)
  2. 06/05/16: Antino Glass, 34, US Army (struck livestock on Fort Hood)
  3. 08/01/16: Logan Rainwater, 24, US Army (SUV turned in front of him in Killeen)
  4. 09/09/16: Stacy Hardy, 20, US Army (slammed into minivan, eluding Killeen PD)
  5. 03/26/17: Jonathan Garcia, 29, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, for reasons unclear, bike lost control on curve, veered off road, & struck cable barrier)
  6. 07/03/17: Anthony Lovell, 40, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, failed to negotiate a turn, left the roadway, went airborne into creek in Killeen)
  7. 07/14/17: James Smith, 24, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, lost control of bike on I-35 in Temple)

4 died in automobile accidents

  1. 03/06/16: Sean Van Der Wal, 25, US Army (fatal auto collision with truck on I-35; driver & Fort Hood soldier Timothy Corder charged with intoxication manslaughter)
  2. 06/11/16: Dougal Mitchell, 32, US Army (driving the wrong way on State Highway 195, vehicle collided with another driven by Mikeshia Ruiz, 23, who died at scene)
  3. 11/03/16: Dakota Stump, 19, US Army (missing for 3 weeks, fatal auto accident on post that occurred night he went missing, family wants missing ‘Warrior Alert’ law)
  4. 01/07/17: Barron Von Reichelt, 24, US Army (died from injuries suffered in an automobile crash on South Range Road at Fort Hood)

2 died in a swimming incidents

  1. 04/16/17: David Ananou, 30, US Army (death by apparent drowning at Temple Lake Park)
  2. 10/14/17: Sameer Chalise, 28, US Army (died due to injuries while swimming, Mansfield)

1 died unexpectedly out of state

  1. 02/18/17: Sean Callahan, 31, US Army (passed away unexpectedly in Iowa)

1 declared dead after missing

  1. 04/11/17: Darius Cooper, 40, US Army (declared dead by board of inquiry after went missing when car swept away in low water crossing)

1 self inflicted & officer involved shooting

  1. 10/12/17: Alva Gwinn, 39, US Army (accused of sex crime; command directed ‘wellness check’ initiated 1 month before trial; shot at by police but died of self inflicted gunshot wound after high speed car chase)

Learn more:
Injured Heroes, Broken Promises: Army Launches Investigation Inside Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Unit
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
Army Pfc LaVena Johnson of Fort Campbell Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
Family seeks answers after NC soldier Justin Lewis slain in Texas
Killeen Calling in Feds to Combat Crime
Gangs in the US Army Documentary
Seeking Justice with Change Your POV
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Fort Hood Army MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn Lead Police on High Speed Car Chase After Wellness Check Initiated; Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound (2017)

Master Sergeant Alva Joe Gwinn

MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn, US Army

Fort Hood Army Master Sergeant Alva Joe Gwinn, 39, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on October 12, 2017 at the Williamson-Bell County line in Texas. Family contacted the Fort Hood chain of command to report that Alva was experiencing a mental health breakdown and may be suicidal. The command asked the Killeen Police Department to do a ‘wellness check’ on MSG Gwinn who was located in his car. MSG Gwinn then lead police on a high speed car chase after they attempted to approach him. MSG Gwinn’s home of record is listed as Richwood, West Virginia. He entered active-duty military service in September 1999 as a combat engineer and was assigned to 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood since April 2012.

According to reports, Alva fled on foot after the high speed chase with police and ended his life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. In June 2016, Alva Gwinn was arrested, indicted and charged with the aggravated sexual assault of a 12 year old girl in 2012. Alva maintained his innocence and a potential trial for the aggravated sexual assault charge loomed because the accuser could not be located. Alva Gwinn had served in the Army for twelve years and was a highly decorated combat veteran known for being a perfectionist. MSG Gwinn deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan a total of five times while he served in the US Army.

Areas of Concern:

  • In October 2017, the Fort Hood chain of command asked the Killeen Police Department to do a ‘wellness check’ on Alva Gwinn; family reported he was suffering what appeared to be a mental health breakdown & may be suicidal
  • The police located Alva in his car but he took off when approached and then lead the police on a high speed car chase that ended with Alva fatally shooting himself
  • How can we prevent a ‘wellness check’ from turning into an officer involved shooting, suicide by cop or suicide? Why the high speed car chase?
  • Alva was facing an aggravated sexual assault trial in November 2017
  • Whether guilty or innocent, this is a tragic end for a man accused of a crime
  • What does the Army do with the accused who are awaiting criminal trial?
  • Is Fort Hood responsible for the mental health of those accused of crimes?

Related Links:
Obituary: Alva “Joe” Gwinn
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier (Ft Hood Press Center)
Fort Hood Fallen Warriors
Killeen man arrested for sexual assault of 12-year-old
Man arrested for aggravated sexual assault of a child
Fort Hood soldier arrested on aggravated sexual assault charge
Fort Hood soldier indicted in sexual assault case
Man who died in Thursday chase identified
Man in Bell County Chase was Fort Hood Soldier
Soldier who died in pursuit a decorated combat engineer
Soldier who led officers on Williamson Co. chase was facing sexual assault trial
Deputy in deadly Bell Co. chase was 12-year veteran, Williamson Co. sheriff’s office says
In the military, trusted officers became alleged assailants in sex crimes
Man who died after 2-county chase was facing child rape trial
Affidavit: Man in officer-involved shooting was charged with aggravated sexual assault of child
Ft. Hood Soldier leads police on high speed chase before killing himself
Authorities: Man shot after police chase in Bell County killed himself
Army master sergeant commits suicide during police shoot out after giving chase
Army MSG was facing charges of sexually assaulting 12 year old girl
Man who died during pursuit had court date for sexual assault of a child
Man who took own life after WilCo pursuit was soldier facing child sex assault charge
One dead after officer-involved shooting in Bell County
Affidavit: Suspect in officer-involved shooting was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child
Man who died during pursuit had court date for sexual assault of a child
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Fort Hood Army Spc. Zachary Moore Found Unresponsive in Barracks on Deployment to Camp Hovey, South Korea; CID Ruled Suicide (August 2, 2017)

SPC-Moore-235x300

Spc. Zachary Moore, US Army

Spc. Zachary Moore, 23, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was found unresponsive August 1, 2017 in his barracks room at Camp Hovey in South Korea. Spc. Moore was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital and pronounced deceased on August 2, 2017. Spc. Moore entered active-duty military service in March 2014 as a signal support systems specialist. He was assigned to the 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood in Texas since July 2016. The circumstances surrounding the incident were investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the cause of death was ruled a suicide.

*****************************************

Was Zachary Moore’s Death Preventable?

In May 2017, Fort Hood announced they were deploying 3,500 troops to South Korea over the summer. Twenty-three (23) year old Zachary Moore was one of the soldiers deployed to South Korea. With full knowledge of Zachary’s recent mental health issues, the Chain of Command gave him a mental health waiver against his will, and most likely against medical advice, so they could deploy him to South Korea.

In October 2016, Zachary had a mental health breakdown and went Absent without Leave (AWOL). After a successful intervention, Zachary was found and returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Zachary’s command then sent him to an emergency room where he was hospitalized and prescribed medication. After Zachary was discharged from the hospital, he continued to seek treatment for mental health issues. Six months later, Zachary was given a mental health waiver by his command to deploy to South Korea.

About a month after Zachary arrived at Camp Hovey in South Korea, his depression medication was changed. As a matter of fact, his depression medication was changed the day before he was found unresponsive in his barracks room. Zachary attempted to kill himself on August 1st, less than 24 hours after the medication change. It was Zachary who called his Command for help as there is no 911 on the base in South Korea. He was found unresponsive and finally transported to the hospital about 1 ½ to 2 hours later. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, listed as critical then stable, yet passed away on August 2, 2017.

Why did Zachary Moore go AWOL?

The Chain of Command contacted Jeanette to report Zachary hadn’t been seen since October 18, 2016. They also informed her they were not actively looking for him but would file AWOL status on October 20th. When asked if they filed a missing persons report, Jeanette claims they told her they did but she says she was lead to believe Zachary trashed his room, took his things, and left willingly. She immediately flew to Texas from Florida to find him.

Jeanette contacted the Killeen Police Department as soon as she got to Fort Hood and the local law enforcement found Zachary the same day she arrived. Over the phone, the Command told Jeanette they filed a missing persons report but she learned from the Killeen Police Department that they never did. The Killeen PD noticed recent activity on Facebook so they pinged Zach’s cell phone & found that he was in a remote area of a local state park.

Zachary attempted to flee initially but after negotiations, he surrendered and was returned to the police station where his mom was waiting. Jeanette could tell Zachary was mentally broken and he admitted to her that he wanted to hurt himself.  The Killeen PD found Zachary and he had a knife in his possession. Zachary was returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Shortly after Zachary informed his mom that his superiors told him to tell her to leave town and stop interfering.

Jeanette reports that Zachary never had any mental health issues prior to this and suspected that Zachary was “singled out by his command and harassed.”

Areas of Concern in Zachary Moore’s Case:

  • Zachary revealed he was harassed by his Chain of Command. For example, his leave papers to visit family before deploying were denied; he was denied permission to see the Fort Hood Inspector General officer; he was harassed during training exercises; he was given exhausting extra duties; and was accused of taking a radio which was later found on a military officer’s desk. Why was he denied the opportunity to speak to the IG officer?
  • Zachary was accused of trashing his room and taking his belongings when he went AWOL. Jeanette believes the circumstances surrounding the vandalism of his room and the theft of his property could be evidence of harassment.
  • During mental health treatment, Zachary was facing the consequences of going AWOL; Zachary was accused of trashing his own room; and Zachary was accused of stealing a secure radio? What are the additional mental health impacts of the way the Chain of Command uses the military justice system?
  • The circumstances of the mental health waiver and the justifications for sending Zachary to South Korea while he was undergoing treatment for mental health issues and medication management should be investigated.
  • The effects of the medication change in South Korea should be investigated. Is Command aware that some medications can cause serious negative reactions? (Some depression medication causes suicidal ideation.) Who monitors serious medication changes in deployed locations? Is it safe to deploy soldiers in the early phases of medication management for mental health issues?
  • Finally, the delay in the Command’s response to Zachary’s call for help in South Korea should be investigated. Why did it take so long to respond to Zachary and why did it take so long to get Zachary to the hospital? Did anyone attempt to administer help while waiting for the ambulance?
  • If the Command was the cause of the mental health break, where was Zachary supposed to turn? How do we hold the Chain of Command accountable? How do we prevent the Chain of Command from retaliating and using the military justice system or non judicial punishment as a weapon? What was the role of the Commander? What was the role of the Fort Hood Inspector General? How can we prevent a young soldier from feeling like the only way out of their situation is AWOL or suicide? How could we have prevented Zachary’s death?
  • Soldiers have come forward, given their stories to the family and have offered to testify about what Zachary was put through which may explain why he died. Were these soldiers questioned?

Source: Jeanette Nazario (Zachary Moore’s mom)

Related Links:
U.S. Army SPC Zachary Moore Funeral – 8/11/17
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier – Spc. Zachary Charles Moore
Spc. Zachary Moore, 1st Cavalry Division
Fort Hood soldier dies in South Korea
Fort Hood soldier dies in Korea
Fort Hood: Soldier found dead in barracks in South Korea identified
Soldier from VB dies after being found unresponsive in South Korea barrack
Virginia Beach soldier dies in South Korea
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Killeen PD: Army SSG Anthony Lovell Died of Injuries Sustained in Apparent Motorcycle Accident Along Nolan Creek in Killeen, Texas (2017)

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 4.06.41 PM

SSG Anthony Lovell, US Army

Army Staff Sergeant Anthony Lovell, 40, died of injuries sustained in an apparent motorcycle accident along Nolan Creek in Killeen, Texas on July 3, 2017. According to witnesses, SSG Lovell’s body was found in a mysteriously different location then the motorcycle. But the Killeen Police Department determined SSG Lovell was traveling south on 8th Street and failed to make a turn into a mobile home park in the area. Investigators claim SSG Lovell left the road, hit an embankment, and went airborne. Therefore, this accounted for the separation of the body and the motorcycle. And as a result, the accident caused multiple blunt force injuries.

“The motorcycle accident was around 8 p.m. on July 3. Lovell was going southbound in the 300 block of Eighth Street. Police say he failed to negotiate a turn and left the roadway then went airborne and into Nolan Creek. The soldier suffered a fatal head injury and was pronounced dead at 8:38 p.m.” -Killeen PD

SSG Lovell was a resident of Killeen, Texas; he was stationed at Fort Hood in March 2015 as a cavalry scout assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. SSG Lovell joined the Army in September 1997 and deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from April 2007 to June 2008 and from September 2009 to August 2010. At the time of the Fort Hood press release, the circumstances surrounding the incident were under investigation by the Killeen Police Department.

Related Links:
Obituary: Anthony Ray Lovell
SSG Anthony Ray Lovell | Chisolm’s Family Funeral Home
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier – Staff Sgt. Anthony Ray Lovell
Staff Sgt. Anthony Ray Lovell, 1st Cavalry Division | Fort Hood Sentinel
In Memory Of US Army SSG Anthony Ray Lovell | Freedom Isn’t Free
Fort Hood identifies soldier who died after apparent motorcycle crash
Army identifies Fort Hood soldier killed in motorcycle accident | Army Times
Army identifies Fort Hood soldier killed in motorcycle accident | GD News
Body at Nolan Creek identified
Fort Hood soldier dies after motorcycle accident
Man found dead by creek ID’d as Fort Hood soldier
Man found dead near creek identified as Fort Hood soldier
Fort Hood Soldier’s Body Found Near Creek
Fort Hood soldier dies after motorcycle accident
Fort Hood soldier dies after motorcycle accident | WDAM-TV
Fort Hood soldier laid to rest, survived by wife and three children
Fort Hood soldier laid to rest, survived by wife and three children | KXXV-TV
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members (2016)
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook