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Second U.S. service member assigned to southern border found dead in Arizona


No foul play is suspected

Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Authorities say a member of the U.S. military was found dead in southern Arizona over the weekend, and is the second service member to die this month while patrolling the U.S. border with Mexico.

What are the details?

The Associated Press reported that officials at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, issued a statement saying the unnamed victim was discovered on Sunday near Ajo, Arizona. The U.S. Northern Command is headquartered out of Peterson Air Force Base.

The announcement comes just weeks after the Tucson Sentinel reported the death of 20-year-old Army infantryman Steven Hodges, whose body was found on federal land near Nogales, Arizona. An investigation into his death was launched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Following the death of Hodges, his battalion commander released a statement saying the soldier "is sorely missed by his teammates," adding, "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."

Officials have not yet disclosed the causes of the service members' deaths, but said foul play is not suspected in either incident.

Both service members were assigned to the Southwest Border Support Mission, tasked with supporting the U.S. Border Patrol amid a surge of illegal immigrants pouring over into the U.S. from Mexico. President Donald Trump has sent several thousand troops to the area in recent months, according to Fox News.

The Gazette reported that roughly 5,000 troops from the Army and National Guard are currently providing technical and logistical support at the U.S. southern border. The military personnel are not conducting law-enforcement duties.

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