A US Army soldier assigned to Fort Drum, New York, who was reported missing from the base, was shot and killed on a road in Sussex County on Saturday. Authorities said a suspect in the murder – a fellow soldier – is in custody in New York.
Cpl Sussex County First Assistant Prosecutor Gregory Muller said Sunday afternoon that Hayden Harris, 20, was shot and killed in a wooded area near Ross Road in Byram Township.
According to Syracuse.com, Harris was last heard between 8pm Thursday evening and 6:30 pm Friday.
Harris headed to Watertown, New York – the largest city near the base – “for certain types of vehicle transactions and has not been seen since,” the publication reported. Army officials said in a Facebook post that he was driving a red 2016 Ford Mustang with a Tennessee license plate.
On Saturday, members of the Byram Township fire department were working on Ross Road when they approached a pair of shoes, paperwork and blood and contacted police. In response, officers found Harris in a wooded area nearby, Muller said.
Muller said Harris’ murder is suspected in New York State on charges related to the soldier’s disappearance, and pending extradition to New Jersey after additional charges were filed in Sussex County.
Harris, Gaius, Tennessee, was a 2018 graduate of McNairy Central High School. He joined the army in March 2019 and arrived at Fort Drum four months later.
Fort Drum is home to the 10th Mountain Division. Harris was an infantry member in the 89th Cavalry Regiment of the Second Brigade Combat Team. After his death, he was promoted from specialist to corporal.
“We were devastated,” Brigadier General Brett Funk, acting commander of Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division, said in a statement.
“It was well known that Corporal Harris was a great soldier,” Funk said. “As we share his grief with friends and family, I repeatedly hear how he was also – and most importantly – a very wonderful, caring person. His death was loved by his loved ones, this Partition and a great loss to our nation. ”Harris is survived by his mother, father and sister.
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