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Suspects charged in murder of Fort Drum corporal

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Hayden Harris

20- year-old Hayden Harris was a corporal at Fort Drum in New York. On December 19th he was found dead, having been shot and buried under snow in Byram Township, New Jersey. He had been reported missing shortly before his death; the body was found by firefighters when they saw blood and debris along a roadway. The police department released a statement, "The top of the snow was stained with what appeared to be blood... During a search of the disturbed area in the snow, the victim’s body was found approximately 200 yards into the wooded area mostly buried under snow."

Investigators have arrested army soldier Jamaal Mellish, 23-years-old, and an unidentified 16-year-old boy with the murder. Both parties are facing charges of felony murder, kidnapping, and second-degree weapons charges. Mellish is also being charged with third-degree suppression of evidence. The teenager is being held at a juvenile detention center and Mellish is being kept in military custody in New York. 

Jamaal Mellish

Harris was an infantryman with the 1st Squadron, 89th Calvary Regiment and joined the Army in 2019. He was promoted to corporal and awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his achievements and service. Brigadier Gen. Brett Funk, acting senior commander of Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division, had this to say about Harris, “It was well known here that Corporal 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,"