A Fort Hood soldier who had been missing for almost a month has been found dead, officials at the Texas installation said Friday.
Pvt. Dakota Lee Stump, 19, was found Thursday. His remains were found next to a flipped-over vehicle in a wooded area about 100 yards from the roadway near Building 43028 on Fort Hood.
The vehicle was registered to Stump, officials said.
Stump's family and chain of command launched an extensive search for him after he went missing Oct. 10. Unit leadership contacted local police and hospitals, and they've remained in contact with Stump's mother, brother and girlfriend in addition to monitoring his barracks room.
Officials also had been calling Stump's cellphone – an Army official at the time said the phone was ringing but there was no answer.
Stump was reported to drive a 2006 black Ford Mustang with red interior, his brother told local news outlets.
Stump’s vehicle was discovered about 11:50 a.m. Thursday by soldiers who were conducting land navigation training. Based on the extensive damage to the car and surrounding trees and foliage, early indications are the vehicle left the road, entered the wooded area, and rolled over multiple times, according to law enforcement officials.
The vehicle was not visible from the road because of the terrain and heavy vegetation, Fort Hood officials said.
Stump, from Avon, Indiana, joined the Army in March as an indirect-fire infantryman. He was assigned to 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. He had been with the unit since July.
Circumstances surrounding Stump’s death are under investigation. The Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, will conduct an autopsy.