Mejhor Morta: Army Private Found Dead Near Fort Hood in Texas

Mejhor Morta

Fort Hood Press Center Mejhor Morta

On July 17, Private Mejhor Morta was found unresponsive near Stillhouse Hollow Lake in Texas, Fort Hood officials confirmed on July 21. They have not said whether his death is considered suspicious and the cause of death has not been provided. Stillhouse Hollow Lake is a reservoir managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Fort Worth District and is located in Bell County. An investigation into Morta’s off-base death is being conducted by the Bell County Sheriff’s Office.

According to his Facebook, Morta, 26, was a native of Davao City, Philippines and he had studied at Pensacola State College in Florida before enlisting in the U.S. Army. On Mother’s Day this year, Morta posted a tribute to his mother on his Facebook, who he said raised him and his four siblings without a father.

“I’ve never seen a strongest person in my entire life even from the movies of super hero, except my mom Morts Merla,” he wrote. “She raised us with my 4 siblings without a father. I remember when I was working in fast food chain washing dishes, and ended up quitting my job because I’m allergic to a liquid soap. I was so frustrated and she noticed it; she said, ‘You have to work smarter not harder.’ I will never forget those words and it changes the course of my life.”

Morta Entered the Army in 2019 & Was Assigned to a Unit in May 2020

Mejhor Morta

FacebookMejhor Morta

A statement issued by the Fort Hood Press Center said that Morta entered the Army in September 2019 as a Bradley Fighting Vehicle mechanic. It indicated that his home of record was Pensacola, Florida. As of May 2020, Morta was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. He also received some awards and decorations, including the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon, the statement added.

Lt. Col. Neil Armstrong, commander of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, wrote, “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. 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.”

Morta Is the Fourth Fort Hood Soldier Found Dead Near the Post in Recent Months

Morta becomes at least the fourth Fort Hood soldier found dead near the base in the past year. The most high-profile case was that of 20-year-old Vanessa Guillen, who was killed and dismembered by another soldier, Aaron David Robinson, according to federal and military investigators, the New York Post reported. Guillen went missing on April 22 and it wasn’t until early July that her remains were found, shortly after Robinson took his own life.

Guillen’s family is calling for an investigation into the U.S. Army’s handling of her case, as they claim that Robinson was sexually harassing Guillen prior to her death. Following news of Morta’s death, the Guillen family’s attorney, Natalie Khawam, said: “As we all know, our soldiers are not safe at Fort Hood. Unfortunately, this U.S. soldier’s death is consistent with our concerns, that these soldiers are living on a dangerous base and are being threatened if they speak up. Enough is enough.”

She continued, “We the people demand a congressional investigation. How many more soldiers need to die before Congress agrees to convene a congressional investigation?”

On June 19, officials found the remains of 24-year-old Fort Hood soldier Gregory Wedel-Morales in a Killeen field, just 10 miles from Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Fox News reported that U.S. Army officials suspect foul play in his death. The outlet reports that Wedel-Morales had been missing since last August; he was set to be discharged from his unit just days after his disappearance but instead, he was declared a deserter.

In May of this year, 27-year-old Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans, another Fort Hood soldier, was found dead of a gunshot wound about 13 miles from the post, Army Times reported. Rosecrans’ body was found near his vehicle, which was on fire. His death is being investigated as a homicide.

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