ANOTHER soldier has died at the infamous Fort Hood base in Texas after collapsing during a training exercise, becoming the 28th death this year.
On Wednesday, Pvt. Corlton L. Chee, 25, from Pinehill, New Mexico, died after participating in physical fitness training last Friday, Army officials said.
His death, which was confirmed today, September 4, marks another fatality at the Army facility, where a spate of murders, fatal accidents, illnesses, suicides and unsolved case deaths have occurred.
Chee is the 28th soldier from the Central Texas base to die this year, according to Associated Press data.
Fort Hood made headlines when the mutilated remains of 20-year-old Vanessa Guillen were found in July – but a spate of fatalities have followed and preceded her slaying.
As part of the Army probe into Guillen's death, the top commanding general Major General Scott Efflandt is being moved and replaced by General John Murray, who will head up the "in-depth" investigation.
Chee died the same day Murray's a welcoming ceremony was held.
Only last week, the remains of missing 23-year-old Sgt. Elder Fernandes' were found after he vanished on August 17, claiming he had been sexually abused.
Last Chee was rushed to Carl R. Darnall Medical Center when he fell ill after the training exercise on August 28.
The soldier was then transferred to Baylor Scott and White in Temple, Texas, on August 30.
He died there with his family by his bedside, reports say.
"Every loss effects every single person in this Battalion because we a family of warriors, but this is exceptionally heartbreaking," said Lt. Col. Ron Sprang, who is the commander of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment.
Chee entered the Army in February as a tank crewman before being assigned to the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division of that battalion in July.
The Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas will conduct an autopsy to establish the cause of death in the latest tragedy to strike Fort Hood and an investigation is underway.
The series of mysterious deaths garnered attention after the death of Guillen disappeared there on April 22 — the day investigators say Army Specialist Aaron Robinson hit her in the head with a hammer.
Federal prosecutors have said Guillen’s body was burned before it was placed in three different holes near the Leon River in Bell County, roughly 20 miles east of the base, after she was bludgeoned to death.
As cops closed in earlier this month on Robinson, who is said to have conspired with his 22-year-old girlfriend Cecily Aguilar to hide the body, he killed himself.
Guillen had allegedly faced sexual harassment at the base.
On Tuesday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said "this is a comprehensive look at all of the actions taken at every echelon of the command related to Vanessa Guillen."
This major probe will bundle all the ongoing inquiries into one, reported ABC News – but five civilians will also be conducting an independent review into the climate and culture at the base.
McCarthy previously acknowledged Fort Hood had the highest number of murder, sexual assault and sexual harassment, a fact he reaffirmed this week.
"We needed to get a much more comprehensive look about the challenges that Fort Hood is experiencing," said McCarthy.
"We need to understand the root causes, so that we can make the appropriate changes, whether that's a leadership issue, resources, conditions on the ground, our systems."
Speaking about the Guillen probe and other Fort Hood deaths on Tuesday, General James McConville, the Army's chief of staff, told reporters: "We need to get this thing right."
"[We need to] make sure we do a thorough investigation of all the activities of the chain of command," he added. "From the top all the way down the bottom – and we think this is the best way to do it."
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