The body of missing Fort Hood soldier Elder Fernandes was found on Tuesday night, more than one week after the 23-year-old sergeant was last seen.
The news was first announced by the family’s attorney Natalie Khawam on Wednesday. It was confirmed by Fort Hood, a military base in Killeen, Texas, later in the afternoon.
Fort Hood said Fernandes, a native of Brockton, Mass., was found deceased near Lake Polk in Temple, Texas, about 30 miles from the base. He had been reported missing on Aug. 18.
“Our worst nightmare has happened,” Khawam said.
The base said in a statement on Friday that Fernandes was last seen by members of his unit at a residence in Killeen, Texas. on Aug. 17 and did not report to work the following day as scheduled. It added that Fernandes’ only known vehicle was located on base at his unit’s parking lot, and information gathered from other soldiers suggested he had left on his own accord.
Fort Hood said Fernandes’ disappearance sparked a thorough search in Central Texas, with members of his base scouring hospitals and hotels. His family also traveled from Massachusetts to Texas to help look for him.