FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WSYR) — Authorities in New York are investigating after a missing United States Army soldier stationed in Fort Drum was found dead.
Army officials said Cpl. Hayden Harris, 20, was last seen Friday when he was on his way to Watertown to meet someone for a vehicle transaction. The car Harris was driving, a 2016 red Ford Mustang, has also been recovered.
Police did not reveal where or when Harris was found, but said they believe foul play was a factor in his death and disappearance.
The Army said they are working with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Sussex County Prosecutors Office and the Byram Township Police Department in New Jersey on this investigation.
The Army said Harris joined the military in March 2019 from Guys, Tennessee. After training in Georgia, he arrived to Fort Drum in July of 2019.
Since then, Harris earned two Army Achievement Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.
“It was well known here that Corporal Harris was a great Soldier, and 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,” Brigadier Gen. Brett Funck, Acting Senior Commander, Fort Drum & the 10th Mountain Division said. “His death is a tremendous loss for his loved ones, this Division and our nation.”
Following his death, Harris was promoted to the rank of Corporal and awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
“Corporal Harris had excellent teammates in the 1-89 Cavalry Regiment. I am proud of their quick action and hope that they can find some comfort in knowing they ultimately helped law enforcement officers locate Corporal Harris and greatly empowered the investigation into his disappearance,” Funck said.
Harris is survived by his mother, father and sister.