BELL COUNTY, Texas — Fort Hood released the name of a soldier who died over the weekend at Stillhouse Hollow Lake.

Search crews recovered the body of 24-year-old Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandez-Vargas Sunday after a boating incident on Saturday.

Witnesses told Bell County Deputies that he was riding an inner tube behind a boat, went underwater, and didn’t come back up.

Recuse teams from the Texas Parks and Wildlife and Bell County Sheriff’s Department Management spent hours looking for the victim.

“Well we were out in the water and happened to notice a lot of emergency service vehicles, saw people out with binoculars out on the lake,” said Karen Lange, a witness.

Justice of the Peace G. Potvin arrived on scene and has ordered an autopsy be performed by the Dallas County Medical Examiners Office. 

Bell County Sheriff’s Department will start its death investigation to determine what events took place leading up to the drowning.

Spc. Hernandez’s home of record is listed as Woodside New York. Fort Hood says he joined the U.S. Army in May of 2017 as an Automatic Rifleman. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat team, 1st Calvary Division in December 2017.

Hernandez’s awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Army Service Ribbon.

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