Harker Heights police officers identified 27-year-old Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans as the victim in their murder investigation and also the owner of an orange 2016 Jeep Renegade that was found along with the deceased.
The vehicle was on fire when it was first reported to police, officers said, and it was later confirmed to belong to Rosecrans. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Harker Heights fire marshal, police said.
Fort Hood officials confirmed that Rosecrans was assigned to the post on Wednesday. Rosecrans served as a quartermaster and chemical equipment repairer with the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. He had been with the unit since November 2018.
Rosecrans joined the Army in May 2018. His home of record is listed as Kimberling City, Missouri, according to Fort Hood. Rosecrans’ awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
”Command Sgt. Maj. Ryan McLane and I would like to express our deepest regrets to the family and loved ones of Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans," said brigade commander Col. Kevin Capra in a prepared statement. “The thoughts and prayers of the Soldiers of 215th Brigade Support Battalion and the Greywolf Brigade are with them during this difficult time.”
Army CID agents have also been investigating the disappearance of another Fort Hood soldier from late last month.
The Army is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for credible information leading to the whereabouts of 20-year-old Pfc. Vanessa Guillen. She was last seen in the parking lot of her squadron headquarters on post on April 22.
“Her car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she was working earlier in the day,” Army CID officials said days after the disappearance. “She was last seen wearing a black t-shirt and purple fitness-type pants.”
Fort Hood military police issued a Be on the Lookout, or BOLO, notice to surrounding law enforcement and an extensive search is still underway.
The Harker Heights Police Department is the lead investigative agency concerning Rosecrans’ death, said Army CID spokesman Chris Grey, adding that he is “not aware of any connection" between the disappearance and the recent death.
Army CID has “been working around the clock” since Guillen’s disappearance, said Grey.
“They have conducted dozens of interviews, followed up on all credible investigative leads and assisted with extensive searches by air and ground of Fort Hood,” he added, noting that the FBI, local police and the Texas Department of Public Safety are also involved in the search.
Grey said officials are encouraging anyone with information, “no matter how insignificant it may seem,” to come forward and contact Army CID, the military police or their local law enforcement agency.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq. Follow on Twitter @Kyle_Rempfer