A Fort Hood soldier who has been missing for over one week has been found dead, according to the family's attorney.

According to police, the body of 23-year-old Sgt. Elder Fernandes was found about 30 miles from Fort Hood in Temple, Texas.

Fernandes is the third Fort Hood soldier to go missing in the past year, and the 5th death related to the base.

Temple police received a medical call at 5:36 p.m. saying a man had been seen near some railroad tracks, according a statement.

"Identification found at the scene indicates the victim may be missing Fort Hood Soldier 23-year-old Elder Fernandes. However, no forensic confirmation has been made at this time," say police.

Natalie Khawam, who represented Vanessa Guillen and is now representing the Fernandes family, said Army police told family members about the discovery late Tuesday night. She said the body was found hanging in a tree.


Khawam said in a tweet:

Our worst nightmare has happened. One of our own, Sergeant Elder Fernandes has been found dead today. We are sickened by this tragedy that has happened one too many times. We are heartbroken for Elder Fernandes’s family.

 

Fernandes was reported missing August 17 from the base. He had been transferred to a different unit because he was the victim in an "abusive sexual contact" investigation, the Army said.
According to Lt. Col. Chris Brautigam, a 1st Cavalry Division public affairs officer, the transfer was meant to ensure "he received the proper care and ensure there were no opportunities for reprisals."

According to The Associated Press and CBS Austin, U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said in a visit to Fort Hood earlier this month that the Central Texas base had some of the highest numbers of sexual assault, harassment and murder.

McCarthy ordered an independent probe of Fort Hood in July after Vanessa Guillen was found dead.