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Missing Soldier Found Dead

20-year-old from Tennessee went missing from New York's Fort Drum
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 21, 2020 12:12 AM CST

(Newser) – A 20-year-old soldier from Tennessee who went missing from New York state's Fort Drum was found dead after "some type of vehicle exchange" that apparently went horribly wrong, reports USA Today, and a fellow soldier is in custody in connection with his death. Hayden Harris, of Guys, Tenn., was last heard from Thursday night after he headed from Fort Drum to Watertown for a vehicle transaction, according to an Army statement. Prosecutors say that they believe Jamaal Mellish, 23, of Watertown abducted Harris, drove him to New York City and elsewhere in the state. An unidentified juvenile was also in the vehicle, authorities said. Harris was found dead in a wooded area in Byram. The Army's Criminal Investigation Command said foul play is suspected, the AP reports.

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Harris, an infantryman with the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, trained at Fort Benning, Ga., before he joined the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum in July 2019. Fort Drum is located near the Canadian border, around 80 miles north of Syracuse. His awards and decorations include two Army Achievement Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon. He graduated Air Assault School in 2019. He was promoted from specialist to corporal following his death. "His death is a tremendous loss for his loved ones, this division and our nation,” Brigadier Gen. Brett Funck, acting commander for Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division, said in a statement.

(Read more New York stories.)

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