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Man who drowned in local lake identified as Fort Hood soldier

Searchers recovered the body of Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas, 24, of Woodside, N.Y., on Sunday. (Fort Hood photo)
Searchers recovered the body of Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas, 24, of Woodside, N.Y., on Sunday. (Fort Hood photo)(KWTX)
Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 10:23 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2020 at 7:42 PM CDT
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BELL COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) – A man who drowned over the weekend at a local lake was identified Tuesday as a Fort Hood soldier.

Searchers recovered the body of Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas, 24, of Woodside, N.Y. on Sunday.

Hernandezvargas went under and didn’t resurface Saturday afternoon.

Searchers found his body at around 1:20 p.m. Saturday in the same area where witnesses said they last saw him.

An autopsy was ordered.

Hernandezvargas joined the Army in May 2017 and had been assigned since December 2017 to the1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

“The Black Knight family is heartbroken by the loss of Spc. Francisco Hernandez. Our hearts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time,” said Lt. Col. Neil Armstrong, commander of 1st Bn. 5th Cav. Regt.

“Spc. Hernandez served his country honorably both stateside while at Fort Hood and abroad in Korea and Romania and this tragic loss is felt by every member within our formation.”

The drowning was the second in just a matter of days in Central Texas.

Last Thursday a pregnant woman helped searchers find the body of Theodore Key, 21, the father of her unborn child, who drowned Wednesday in Lake Belton as he tried to reach her when the wind blew her away from shore on a flotation device at Temple Lake Park.

The woman boarded a game warden’s boat Thursday night and with her assistance searchers located Key’s body in minutes, officials said.

Crews recovered Key’s body from Lake Belton just after 8 p.m. Thursday.

Justice of the Peace Cliff Coleman ordered an autopsy.

Copyright 2020 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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