Elder Fernandes: Body found in search for missing soldier

Image source, US Army

A body has been found in the search for a soldier missing from his Texas army base since 19 August, police say.

ID found with the body, some 30 miles (48 km) from his Fort Hood base, suggested it was that of Sgt Elder Fernandes, 23, who was last seen at his home on 17 August.

A family attorney told US media the body was found hanging in a tree in Temple, Texas.

He is the third Fort Hood service member to go missing in the past year.

Authorities do not suspect foul play and have not yet released confirmation of identity.

Attorney Natalie Khawam told US media the US Army had informed the family about the body on Tuesday night. Ms Khawam said police found a backpack that had Mr Fernandes' driver's licence inside.

Police made the discovery when responding to a call that a man had been spotted near railroad tracks, but determined the individual had been deceased for some time.

The Fort Hood base confirmed last week there was an ongoing investigation into sexual abuse reported by Mr Fernandes, and said he was working with an assault response co-ordinator and had been transferred to a different unit.

Last month, the remains of 20-year-old Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen were discovered.

Army officials said the suspect in her disappearance, a junior soldier at the same base, took his own life.