Foul play suspected in Fort Drum soldier’s death

“We are devastated."

Foul play is suspected in the death of a Fort Drum soldier who went missing over the weekend and was later found dead, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command said in a statement on Sunday.

Cpl. Hayden Allen Harris, a 20-year-old infantryman assigned to the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, was reportedly last heard from between late Thursday night and early Friday morning, CID reported.

Harris was meeting someone in Watertown, New York, for some type of vehicle transaction, though the 2016 Ford Mustang Coupe he was reportedly driving has been accounted for, CID wrote.

Law enforcement officials suspect foul play and an investigation is ongoing. Meanwhile, the 10th Mountain Division mourned Harris’ death.

“We are devastated,” said Brig. Gen. Brett Funck, acting senior commander of Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division, in a statement tweeted by the division on Sunday. “It was well known here that Cpl. Harris was a great soldier, and as we share our grief with his friends and family, I hear again and again how he was also – and most importantly- a really wonderful. caring person.”

A native of Guys, Tennessee, Harris joined the Army in March 2019. After training at Fort Benning, Georgia, he arrived at Fort Drum in July that same year.

A specialist when he went missing, Harris was posthumously promoted to corporal and awarded the Army Commendation Medal.

Members of his unit reported him missing mere hours after they lost contact with him, the 10th Mountain Division said.

“Cpl. Harris had excellent teammates in the 1-89 Cavalry Regiment,” Funck said. “I am proud of their quick action and hope that they can find some comfort in knowing they ultimately helped law enforcement officers locate Cpl. Harris and greatly empowered the investigation into his disappearance.”

Chris Grey, a spokesman for Army CID, said CID is working with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and Sussex County Prosecutors Office, and the Bryam Township Police Department on the investigation into Harris’ death. 

CID urged anyone with information concerning the investigation to immediately contact the Fort Drum Army CID Office at 315-772-9459, the Fort Drum Military Police at 315-772-7770 or contact their local police department. They can also anonymously submit information at https://www.cid.army.mil/report-a-crime.html.

David Roza

David Rozacovers the Air Force and anything Star Wars-related. He joined Task & Purpose in 2019, after covering local news in Maine and then FDA policy in Washington D.C. He loves hearing the stories of individual airmen and their families, and he also holds the unpopular opinion that Imperial stormtroopers are actually excellent marksmen. david.roza@taskandpurpose.com Contact the author here.