FORT HOOD, Texas – An Indiana soldier who disappeared at Fort Hood has been found dead.
The body of Pvt. Dakota Stump was discovered next to a flipped-over vehicle on the base. The vehicle was registered to Stump and found in a wooded area approximately 100 yards from the roadway near Building 43028 on Fort Hood.
Stump, 19, left his barracks on the night of Oct. 10. No one had heard from him since. He was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division’s Apache Troop, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
The vehicle was discovered around 11:50 a.m. Thursday by soldiers who were conducting land-navigation training.
“I can only say that half of my soul is gone. It’s just gone. I don’t think there are words for a parent that has lost a child, I think you feel like you’re dead yourself," said Patrice Wise, his mother.
“I was told they looked everywhere they could possibly look, and my son wasn’t there,” said Wise.
Investigators believe the vehicle left the roadway, entered the wooded area and rolled over multiple times. Due to the terrain and heavy vegetation, the vehicle was not visible from the road.
A Fort Hood spokesperson said he left all his possessions and cash behind as if he intended to return to his barracks. The circumstances surrounding Stump’s death remain under investigation.
One of the things Wise says she is angry about is that investigators told her shortly after her sons disappearance, his phone was pinged in the Indianapolis area. This lead her to conduct weeks long searches and an investigation of her own trying to find him.
She said in a phone call this afternoon a spokesperson informed her that it appears investigators were wrong about that.
“I’m very angry, and I know I’m going to go through a lot of emotions but this anger isn’t going to go away unless I get answers," said Wise.
Stump's awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.