Teen, soldier charged in the death of Fort Drum corporal

Getty Images

A 16-year-old and a U.S. Army soldier were charged following the death of a corporal at Fort Drum in New York, according to Sussex County, N.J., prosecutors.

The Army confirmed late last year the death of 20-year-old Cpl. Hayden Allen Harris after he was found dead in a remote part of northern New Jersey. At the time, foul play was suspected. 

According to the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, 23-year-old Spc. Jamaal Mellish and an unidentified teenager have been charged in the corporal’s death. They face charges of felony murder and kidnapping as well as second-degree weapons charges. Additionally, Mellish was charged with third-degree suppression of evidence.

Harris was reported missing before his death. Firefighters discovered his body after seeing traces of blood along the road during an annual holiday ride, NBC News reported

Investigators found he was shot to death and buried under snow in a wooded area of Byram Township, N.J., on Dec. 19, according to the news source.

“The top of the snow was stained with what appeared to be blood,” said a statement from law enforcement, according to the news outlet. “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.”

Officials said that both Mellish and Harris were meeting to exchange vehicles — a Ford Mustang for a Chevy pickup truck. 

A Sussex County assistant prosecutor alleged Mellish “abducted” Harris during the planned car exchange.

It is not immediately clear the specific role the teen played in allegedly assisting Mellish in Harris’s death.

Harris was posthumously promoted to corporal and granted the Army Commendation Medal, which honors soldiers for heroic action, achievements or service.

Tags Army Hayden Allen Harris Jamaal Mellish New Jersey
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video