Elder N. Fernandes was a United States Army soldier. He was stationed at the Fort Hood military base in Killeen, Texas, USA.
Fernandes went missing on August 18, 2020 and was found dead on August 25, 2020. His family’s lawyer Natalie Khawam told The Boston Globe, “Our worst nightmare has happened.”
“One of our own, Sergeant Elder Fernandes has been found dead today,” Khawam continued. “We are sickened by this tragedy that has happened one too many times. We are heartbroken for Elder Fernandes’s family.”
A GoFundMe page was set up for his family by John Sequeira. Here are 13 more facts about the late U.S. Army soldier:
- He was born in Cape Verde, where his father is based.
- He grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts, USA, where his mother Ailina Neves Fernandes is based.
- He was 5’4″ tall and weighed around 133 lbs. He had a full sleeve tattoo on his left arm.
- In 2015, he graduated from Brockton High School.
- In September 2016, he joined the U.S. Army.
- As a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist, he was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (CSSB), 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade (1CDSB) at the Central Texas Army installation.
- In April 2020, he accused a male superior officer of groping him in a supply closet.
- On August 11, 2020, he was hospitalized at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in Fort Hood.
- After being discharged from the hospital in the afternoon of August 17, 2020, his staff sergeant dropped him off at the 2700 block of Woodlands Drive in Killeen, the address of his residence he supposedly provided. His aunt Isabel Neves-Fernandes told KWKT-TV that he did not live at that address as he had just paid for an apartment but had not yet picked up the keys to it.
- Members of his unit last saw him alive at a residence in Killeen on August 17, 2020. He was last seen wearing black Army physical training T-shirt and shorts with red athletic shoes. He did not report to work on August 18, 2020. His car filled with his belongings was found at the Fort Hood base.
- On August 22, 2020, U.S. Army officials confirmed that he was an alleged victim of abusive sexual contact. 1st Cavalry Division public affairs officer Lt. Col. Chris Brautigam told CNN that while the case was being investigated, he was transferred “from a unit who has recently deployed to a different unit within the brigade to ensure he received the proper care and ensure there were no opportunities for reprisals.”
- On August 25, 2020, he was found hanging from a tree in Temple, Texas. His body was found at around 5:30 p.m. that day by a person walking near a railroad track who then called the Temple Police Department. Authorities said he had been deceased for some period of time and his driver’s license was in a black backpack found nearby.
- He died at the age of 23.