Last week, a photo went viral of a young U.S. Army soldier who recently went missing from Fort Drum, a large military base located in upstate New York.
Sadly, according to The Hill, that soldier, identified as 20-year-old Cpl. Hayden Allen Harris, has been found dead in a remote section of northern New Jersey. Authorities investigating his death have already indicated that they suspect foul play was involved.
According to an updated report from NCPR, another Fort Drum soldier was taken into custody in connection to Harris’ death.
What police are saying
According to NCPR, law enforcement officials said that Harris went to Watertown, New York to meet someone for a vehicle-related transaction. Authorities later found the 2016 Ford Mustang that he drove to the meeting spot in.
Officials indicated that Harris was last heard from between 8 p.m. Thursday and 6:30 a.m. Friday, The Hill reported.
The U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Command (CID) put out a release on Saturday asking the public for any help in locating the missing soldier, which soon went viral. By Sunday, the Army’s CID had confirmed that Harris’ body had been located, according to a report from The New York Times.
“We are working very closely with several law enforcement agencies, to include Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Bryam Township Police Department on this investigation,” Army CID spokesman Chris Grey said, according to The Hill.
Additional details about Harris’ death, including why authorities are looking at foul play, remain unclear.
According to reports, the 20-year-old soldier, a Tennessee native, attended initial training at Fort Benning, Georgia before being assigned to Fort Drum. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of corporal.
Harris was also heavily praised by the base commander, Brig. Gen. Brett Funck, as being a “great soldier” and one who would be very much missed by his unit, his family and his friends.
“It was well known here that Corporal Harris was a great Soldier, and as we share our grief with his friends and Family, I hear again and again how he was also — and most importantly — a really wonderful, caring person,” Funck said, adding that everyone at Fort Drum was “devastated,” according to The Hill.
Along with his posthumous promotion, Harris was also posthumously awarded the Army Commendation Medal, adding to two Army Achievement Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon that he’d already earned for his service, The Hill reported.