Two U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Bliss in Texas were charged Wednesday with the murder of a local teenager.
Tyler Shane Hall, 20, and Eric Duvall, 26, both with the 1st Armored Division, were charged with the murder of 16-year-old Michael Tapia, whose body was found late Sunday afternoon in a remote desert area east of El Paso, according to Leslie Antunez, spokeswoman for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
“As a result of the investigation, it is believed that the murder was narcotic related,” Antunez said in a statement. She would not discuss who was the buyer or seller.
The El Paso Times reported that Hall also was charged with suspicion of possession of a controlled substance more than 4 grams and less than 200 grams.
An autopsy found that Michael Tapia suffered a single gunshot wound to the back of the neck.
It was not immediately clear if either man has an attorney. Bond for each was set at $1 million.
Both suspects are active duty military and currently stationed at Fort Bliss.
Fort Bliss spokesman Mike Brantley said because the incident occurred off base, the adjudication of the case is in the hands of civilian authorities.
“Fort Bliss officials are cooperating with El Paso authorities who have jurisdiction in this case,” Brantley said. “Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we cannot comment further about it.”
Neither Hall nor Duvall has been booted from the military.
“They are still soldiers in the U.S. Army,” Brantley said.