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Autopsy: Fort Hood soldier’s drowning at lake was an accident

BELTON, Texas — The July drowning of a Fort Hood soldier at lake near the U.S. Army base in Central Texas was an accident, according to a final autopsy report.

Final results from the Southwest Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas supported initial reports from the Bell County Sheriff’s Office that Pvt. Mejhor Morta, 26, had drowned, TV station KVUE reported Monday.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to Stillhouse Hollow Lake near Belton on July 17 just after midnight when fishermen found a body in the water at the base of a dam. It was identified as Morta’s.

Pvt. Mejhor Morta was found unresponsive July 17 in the vicinity of Stillhouse Lake, Texas. (Army)
Officials: Fort Hood soldier believed to have drowned

Authorities said Wednesday that a Fort Hood soldier found dead last week near the Texas Army base where he was stationed is believed to have drowned, according to the Bell County Sheriff’s Department.

Army Times previously reported that Morta joined the Army in September 2019 and served as a Bradley Fighting Vehicle mechanic. In May, he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

Morta is one of 28 soldiers who have died at Fort Hood this year, according to data from Fort Hood officials. The 28 deaths include five homicides, plus accidents, suicides, deaths from illness, cases still under investigation and one combat-related death.

Fort Hood has one of the highest rates of murder, sexual assault and harassment in the service, Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy said in August.

Earlier this month, Democratic Reps. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts and Jackie Speier of California sent a letter to McCarthy requesting documents and information on the deaths as part of a congressional investigation.

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