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Slain soldier was shot 4 times at close range, perhaps while asleep, affidavit says

Brandon Michael Olivares, 28, was served with a murder warrant at the Bell County Jail where he’s held on an unrelated charge, police said. (Jail photo)
Brandon Michael Olivares, 28, was served with a murder warrant at the Bell County Jail where he’s held on an unrelated charge, police said. (Jail photo)(KWTX)
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 3:25 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 7, 2020 at 1:10 PM CDT
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HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas (KWTX) – Slain Fort Hood Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans, 27, whose body was found on May 18 along Fuller Lane on the southern edge of Harker Heights, was shot four times at close range, perhaps while he was asleep in the reclined passenger seat of his 2016 Jeep Renegade, which was found on fire nearly three miles away near the 2500 block of Jubilation Drive, an arrest warrant affidavit released Friday says.

Brandon Michael Olivares, 28, was served with the murder warrant earlier this week at the Bell County Jail where he he’s been held since early June on an unrelated weapons charge.

He’s held in lieu of bonds totaling $1.1 million.

Cellphone data and video from neighborhood home security cameras played a major role in the investigation that led to Olivares’ arrest, the affidavit says.

Investigators found surveillance video that showed the Jeep entering a neighborhood near where Rosecrans’ body was found at around 7:15 a.m. on May 18 and leaving about six minutes later, the affidavit says.

Other video shows the Jeep arriving in a neighborhood about three miles away, near the wooded area where the vehicle was evidently set on fire.

Multiple videos from late in the morning on May 18 show Olivares walking away from the area where the Jeep was found on fire, the affidavit says.

Inside the charred Jeep investigators found burned items they think belonged to Rosecrans including clothing, shoes and audio equipment, and what appeared to be a bullet hole in the rear passenger side door.

Investigators used cellphone data to establish that Rosecrans and Olivares were together on the night of May 17 and the morning on May 18.

On June 4 investigators arrested Olivares at his home in Killeen on an unrelated warrant and for parole violations.

They also served search warrants and recovered a Jeep key from a backyard fire pit.

The keys to the Renegade weren’t found with Rosecrans or in the area where the Jeep was found on fire.

Olivares, in interviews with investigators, denied shooting Rosecrans.

He claimed that he, his girlfriend and another man had driven to San Antonio to purchase “illegal narcotics,” although no narcotics were recovered after the discovery of Rosecrans’ body and the burning Jeep.

And cellphone data showed the man that Olivares claimed had accompanied him, his girlfriend and Rosecrans was in Killeen on the night of May 17 and morning of May 18, which the other man’s girlfriend corroborated.

The other man’s girlfriend told investigators, however, that Olivares and his girlfriend turned up at her home and said Olivares told her “he has just killed a man and the man he killed, Rosecrans, was being ‘too greedy.’”

Rosecrans, who died just days before his 28th birthday, had been assigned since November 2018 to the 1st Cavalry Division’s 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team as a quartermaster and chemical equipment repairer.

Fort Hood’s 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division’s unit held a memorial ceremony Thursday for Rosecrans at the Operation Iraqi Freedom Chapel attended by members of Rosecrans’ family as well as friends and fellow soldiers.

A memorial service was held for the slain soldier Thursday on post.
A memorial service was held for the slain soldier Thursday on post.(Fort Hood photo)

The best way we can honor his memory, in my mind, is to work together every day to build our legacy,” said Capt. Jordan Holmlund, commander, Brigade Field Maintenance Company, 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Armor Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

“We can do that by continuing to ensure that this organization takes care of its Soldiers, mentors them, and makes them proud to serve this country.”

Rosecrans was laid to rest on June 2 near his hometown of Kimberling City, Mo.

Copyright 2020 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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