© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Fort Hood Soldier Dies After Returning From West Africa

U.S. Army
Fort Hood Press Center


Credit U.S. Army - Fort Hood

Update, 2 p.m. Wed., Jan. 14:

FORT HOOD, Texas -- Fort Hood officials have released the name of a soldier who was found deceased Jan. 13 in his off-post residence in Killeen, Texas. Bell County Justice of the Peace Bill Cook pronounced him deceased at 8:26 a.m.

Spc. Kendrick Vernell Sneed, 24, whose home of record is listed as Bossier City, Louisiana, entered active-duty service in June 2009 as automated logistics specialist. He was assigned to 62nd Engineer Company, 36th Engineer Brigade, Fort Hood, since June 2012.

Sneed deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from February 2011 to January 2012 and from May 2013 to December 2013. He also deployed in support of Operation United Assistance from October 2014 to January 2015.

Sneed's awards and decorations include two Army Commendation Medals, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 3 campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge  and Driver and Mechanics Badge.

The incident remains under investigation by the Killeen Police Department. 

Update, 10 a.m. Wed., Jan. 14:

FORT HOOD, Texas -- Carl R. Darnall Medical Center medical officials confirmed at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 13 that the more conclusive PCR Assay test results are negative for the presence of the Ebola virus disease. 

CRDAMC officials have notified national, state and local officials that there is no evidence of a public health threat or EVD exposure to community or law enforcement officials involved in the current investigation of the death of a Fort Hood Soldier.

The incident remains under investigation by the Killeen Police Department. 

Update, 5:15 p.m.:

Fort Hood officials say the initial test results are negative for the Ebola Virus Disease for a Fort Hood Soldier found dead at his off-post residence Tuesday morning. 

Officials at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center confirmed the initial screening results from the BioFire Assay test.
Fort Hood officials said the more conclusive P-C-R Assay test, required by the Centers for Disease Control, is underway to confirm the preliminary findings. Both tests are required to exclude an Ebola diagnosis and ensure the safety of the community.
The 24-year-old soldier had returned from Liberia Jan. 7 with 86 other members of his brigade who had been building treatment centers to help battle Ebola in the region. 
Both the Army and Killeen police are involved in the investigation into the man's cause of death, but an autopsy will be delayed until the initial negative results are confirmed. The two Killeen police officers who found the body are also under quarantine. 

Update, 4:30 p.m.: 

Killeen police are investigating the death of a Fort Hood soldier found lying face-down in his front yard this morning, with no apparent signs of violence.

The soldier had returned with other members of his brigade last week from Operation United Assistance in Liberia.

 Public Affairs Officer Carroll Smith with the Killeen Police Department says after the first two officers discovered the soldier had just returned from West Africa, the department put Ebola protocols in place and deployed its hazmat team.

"And we do have our officers, those at the scene first, being quarantined for precautionary reasons. Those measures were taken for the safety of the public," Smith said. 

Fort Hood has not yet released the name of the soldier.  Smith said there was a possibility some family members were inside the home, but their status was not released.

Fort Hood earlier said the soldier had returned from deployment to Liberiawith other members of the 36th Engineer Brigade and placed under a 21-day mandatory controlled monitoring protocol. But he was later released for a family emergency and told to monitor his medical status twice a day.

Credit Fort Hood Press Center
Medical personnel from the 1st Cavalry Division performed initial medical screenings on troops returning to Fort Hood, Texas, from West Africa.

Smith said police are waiting for Ebola test results from the Carl R. Darnell Army Medical Center at Fort Hood before an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Fort Hood is one of five military installations that hosts the 21-day controlled monitoring area for all military service members returning from West Africa. 

Update, 3:30 p.m.: Killeen police say two of their officers are under quarantine as a precautionary measure, and the body they found is being tested for the Ebola virus.  Public Affairs Officer Carroll Smith said Killeen's HAZMAT unit was deployed after the officers discovered the 24-year-old man was a Fort Hood soldier who had recently returned from West Africa. 

Smith said there is no confirmation that Ebola is present, but because of circumstances surrounding the man's death, the Killeen Police Department put its normal protocols into place to protect the community and other officers. 

There were reportedly family members inside the home, but no information has been released regarding their status. The name of the soldier has not yet been released. 


A Fort Hood soldier who recently returned from duty in West Africa has been found dead at his home in Texas.

Fort Hood said in a statement that the soldier had recently returned on emergency leave and was under guidelines to self-monitor and report his status to medical officials.

Major Gabriel Ramirez at the Fort Hood Press Center says self-monitoring is the Army’s protocol for any soldiers returning from West Africa.

Officials say there is no indication of the Ebola virus, but medical tests are being performed.

Army officials are working with the Killeen Police Department on the investigation. 

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.