Military IDs soldier on border deployment found dead near Nogales; no foul play indicated
A U.S. Army solidier deployed to the Mexican border in Arizona was found dead Saturday near Nogales. Foul play was not suspected in the death of PFC Steven Hodges, officials said, but few details were released.
Hodges, a 20-year-old Menifee, Calif., native who enlisted in 2017, was a grenadier assigned to the 1st "Tomahawk" Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, since February 2018. His unit is part of the 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Hodges was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon during his service.
Officials have not released a cause of death.
Hodges' unit is at the border as part of "Task Force Red Lion," undertaking mobile surveillance as part of the Trump administration's deployment of more than 2,000 active-duty troops along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"Every Soldier in the Tomahawk Battalion is an essential member of our team. The loss of any Soldier is deeply felt. Private First Class Steven Hodges is sorely missed by his teammates and the entire Tomahawk family, every Soldier is a national treasure,” Lt. Col. Sean Lyons, the battalion commander wrote in a statement released by the military.
"We are grateful for all the young men and women who volunteer to serve our nation. We are humbled at the sacrifices their families continue to make on a daily basis, Steven and his family are in our prayers," Lyons said.
Military authorities at first did not identify Hodges, or release his unit or service branch.
Later, they provided some details.
Because Hodges' body was found on federal land, the FBI is investigating the incident, officials at U.S. Northern Command said. NorthCom is headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.