The investigation into Vanessa Guillen's death has not concluded, yet the seventh body of a dead soldier connected to Fort Hood (the Army base where Guillen was stationed) has been found. Pvt. Mejhor Morta, 26, was found dead on July 17, 2020, near Stillhouse Lake. The lake is roughly 15 miles from Fort Hood, Texas. At this moment, the autopsy has not been released.
Many are beginning to suspect that the deaths are connected, considering the fact that Pvt. Morta is the seventh soldier to die while stationed at Fort Hood since March of 2020. The service members were all junior enlisted (E1-E4 ranking) and near the same age at the time of their passing:
- March 1: Spc. Shelby Jones, 20, was shot and killed at a club near Fort Hood.
- March 5: Spc. Christopher Sawyer, 29, was found unresponsive in his on-post residence.
- March 14: Spc. Freddy Delacruz Jr., 23, was among three victims found dead of gunshot wounds at an off-base apartment complex.
- April 22: Spc. Vanessa Guillén, 20, was killed in her unit’s arms room.
- May 18: Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans, 27 was found dead from a gunshot wound near his burning Jeep.
- June 19: Pvt. Gregory Morales, 24. His skeletal remains were found off base.
“The Black Knight family is truly heartbroken by the tragic loss of Private Mejhor Morta. I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones,” Lt. Col. Neil Armstrong, commander of 1st Bn. 5th Cav. Regt said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time. Private Morta was a great Trooper and this loss is felt by every member within our formation.”
Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) stated earlier that Democrats in Congress have requested the DoD Inspector General to conduct a full, independent investigation into Fort Hood's handling of SPC Guillen's case. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) took to Twitter to demand an independent investigation into the matter.
Rep. Gabbard also joined the family of Guillen to speak out. "I stand here for Vanessa. I stand here for justice. I stand here for every other service member who's experienced sexual harassment or assault, but did not feel safe reporting it out of fear of retaliation," the Rep. from Hawaii's second district said to an emotional crowd, following the death of Guillen. "For years the DoD has talked about reform. For years congress has pushed the DoD towards the necessary reform. Some changes have been made, but these changes have not gone nearly far enough."
Pvt. Morta, Pvt. Guillen and the other soldiers who have passed in recent months deserve justice. We're sure the public is anxiously awaiting decisive action from the DoD and Justice Department regarding this matter.