The autopsy report on Sgt. Elder Fernandes is out. A medical examiner from Dallas County says the 23-year-old died from hanging himself. Fernandes disappeared on August 17 and his body was found just over a week later after a massive search by family, friends, and fellow soldiers.
In a statement, Temple Police say they someone called around 5:30 p.m. Aug. 25, saying they saw a body along the railroad tracks west of South 4th street. Fort Hood is confirming that Sgt. Elder Fernandes initiated an abusive sexual contact report before he disappeared.
Lieutenant Colonel Chris Brautigam says the unit sexual assault response coordinator had been working closely with Sgt. Fernandes to ensure he was aware of all his reporting, care, and victim advocacy options.
LTC Brautigam says Sgt. Fernandes was deployed to a different unit within the brigade to ensure he received the proper care and ensure there were no opportunities for reprisals. Born in the Republic of Cape Verde, he joined the Army in 2016 and became a nuclear specialist.