Infantry Soldier Dies in Arizona While on Border Mission

Engineer Soldiers from the 62nd Engineer Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas, add concertina wire to the top of the Arizona-Mexico border wall, Nov. 7, 2018. (U.S. Army/2nd Lt. Corey Maisch)
Engineer Soldiers from the 62nd Engineer Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas, add concertina wire to the top of the Arizona-Mexico border wall, Nov. 7, 2018. (U.S. Army/2nd Lt. Corey Maisch)

A 7th Infantry Division soldier serving on the U.S. southern border was found dead in Arizona.

The soldier's identity will not be released until next of kin are notified, but the body was found June 1 near Nogales, about 65 miles south of Tucson, according to Maj. Mark Lazane, a spokesman for U.S. Northern Command, which oversees the mission to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection along the southern border.

The death is under investigation, but "no foul play is suspected," Lazane said.

The case is also being investigated by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department and the FBI because the federal land where the soldier was found falls under their jurisdictions, he added.

Soldiers from the 7th ID at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, are among the more than 2,000 U.S. military personnel participating in the mission to support border patrol agents in an attempt to prevent migrants from crossing over illegally.

In April, two soldiers patrolling along the southern border in Texas were stopped and questioned by Mexican troops. The handful of Mexican troops pointed their rifles at the U.S. soldiers, believing that they had crossed the Mexico border. However, the American troops were north of the border, and the Mexican troops left.

The mission, which mostly involves logistics, aviation and surveillance support, is authorized to continue through September.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

Show Full Article