EL PASO, Texas – U.S. Army officials have found the body of a 19-year-old soldier who vanished this week from a desert training range in Texas and they say he apparently killed himself.
Searchers found Spc. John R. Fish, clad in his Army uniform, Wednesday afternoon while flying over a patch of rugged desert surrounding the Dona Ana Base Camp, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Fort Bliss in New Mexico, said Jean Offutt, a fort spokeswoman. His body was found about 1 1/2 miles (2.4 kilometers) north of the camp.
Fish suffered what investigators believe to be a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Offutt said. His weapon was found near his body, Offutt said.
Fish was reported missing Monday morning when he did not show up for morning roll call. Army officials later found a handwritten note on his bunk reading: "I have some things to take care of. I won't be coming back."
Fish vanished that morning wearing his camouflage uniform and carrying a squad automatic weapon.
He served a yearlong tour in Iraq, returning in November, but was assigned largely non-combat jobs, said Lt. Col. Ina Yahn, who commands Fish's 589th Brigade Support Battalion.