BROCKTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A Massachusetts family has filed a $25,000,000 wrongful death claim against the U.S. army, saying their relative’s death by suicide in Texas was the result of negligent care by his base’s medical center.

The family of Sgt. Elder Fernandes said the 23 year old had been trying to seek out help while in Fort Hood, following harassment from fellow soldiers after he had reported a sexual harassment incident.

The claim, shared with 7NEWS by attorneys representing the family, also indicated that Fernandes was sexually assaulted shortly after arriving at Fort Hood, “forever
changing his outlook on the military, and his mental health,” according to the document.

Fernandes was reported missing in the summer of 2020 before he was found dead weeks later.

His death sparked a wider investigation into how sexual assault cases are handled in the military.

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