Missing Fort Drum soldier found dead, Army confirms

Hayden Harris, a soldier who went missing from Fort Drum in recent days, was found dead, U.S. Army officials said.


By TERI WEAVER | syracuse.com | Published: December 20, 2020

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (Tribune News Service) — Hayden Harris, a soldier who went missing from Fort Drum in recent days, has been found dead, U.S. Army officials confirmed Sunday morning.

“We are devastated,” said Brigadier Gen. Brett Funck, acting commander for Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division, said in a statement.

It wasn’t immediately clear where Harris was found. An investigation is ongoing, Army officials said.

Harris, 20, was promoted from specialist to corporal following his death.

Harris was last heard from between 8 p.m. Thursday and 6:30 a.m. Friday, according to Fort Drum’s public affairs office. He was headed to Watertown “for some type of vehicle transaction and has not been seen since,” an Army statement said.

The Army had asked for help from the public, and several police agencies in many states joined the effort, according to the Army. Harris’ photo quickly spread this weekend on social media.

“We are grateful to everyone who shared his picture or said a prayer for his safe return,” Funck said.

Harris, of Guys, Tenn., joined the Army in March 2019. He trained at Fort Benning, Ga., and he arrived at Fort Drum in July 2019.

“It was well known here that Corporal Harris was a great soldier,” Funck said. “As we share our grief with his friends and family, I hear again and again how he was also — and most importantly — a really wonderful, caring person. His death is a tremendous loss for his loved ones, this division and our nation.”

Harris is survived by his mother, father and sister.

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.

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