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Fort Hood Soldier Lost During April Floods Determined Deceased

Flowers decorate a fence outside of Fort Hood's east gate on Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Killeen, Texas, in honor of those killed and wounded in the Fort Hood shooting on April 2.

A Fort Hood soldier who disappeared after flash flooding hit the area in April has been determined to be dead, the U.S. Army confirmed on Thursday.

Spc. Darius Cooper, a 40-year-old whose home of record is listed as San Antonio, had been stationed at Fort Hood since June 2016.

Authorities said that while Cooper's death has been officially confirmed, his body has not been recovered.

"Despite the diligent effort to find Specialist Cooper, it is heartbreaking for our soldiers and the Fort Hood family that we were not able to locate him," said Maj. Gen. John Uberti, III Corps and Fort Hood deputy commanding general. "Our thoughts, prayers and sincere condolences go to the Cooper family, loved ones, and fellow soldiers impacted by this tragedy."

Cooper was deployed from September 2009 to July 2010 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and again during Operation Enduring Freedom from March to November of 2013.

Authorities began a large-scale search for Cooper after he was swept into Clear Creek near Turkey Run Road around 6 a.m. on April 11.

Fort Hood officials in May said they were "reasonably certain" that the person who was swept away was a soldier, but stopped short of naming him publicly as efforts to find him continued.

In the days following his disappearance, Lori Pohanka-Kalama, a volunteer diver with the Morgan's Point Resort dive had to be extracted from House Creek and rushed to the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center after being injured during the search.

She was then flown to Baylor Scott and White Hospital in Temple, but died the next morning.

"Our thoughts, prayers and condolences also go to the family, loved ones, and friends of Morgan's Point Resort Police Department Dive Team member Lori Pohanka-Kalama who lost her life during the search."

This article is written by Mark Wilson from Austin American-Statesman and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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