Fort Jackson Missing Soldier, ort Jackson Soldier Found Dead, Investigation Underway into Cause of Death

Tragic news emerged from Fort Jackson as authorities confirmed the discovery of the body of a missing soldier. Staff Sgt. Jaime Contreras, a 40-year-old drill sergeant candidate, was located on Monday night. The base command and local authorities are now launching an investigation to determine the cause of his death.

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Confirmation of Discovery

Brig. General Jason Kelly, commanding general at Fort Jackson, officially confirmed on Wednesday that Staff Sgt. Jaime Contreras had been found. Although the base announced his discovery on Tuesday, no further details were initially provided.

Deep Sadness and Support

Expressing deep sadness, Brig. General Kelly extended his sympathies to the Contreras family and the soldier’s comrades at Fort Jackson. He assured that the base is providing support to those affected by this tragic loss.

Timeline of Events

According to Major John Ferrell, an incident commander at Fort Jackson, Staff Sgt. Jaime Contreras was participating in a training exercise at the land navigation course on Monday. The training began at 10 a.m., and Contreras was expected to return by 1 p.m. When he failed to appear by 2 p.m., leadership was notified, initiating a search operation.

Intensive Search Efforts

Multiple agencies, including SLED, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, and others, collaborated in the search for Contreras. They utilized various resources, including tracking Contreras’ cell phone signal, which helped narrow down the search area. Aircraft were also deployed to aid in the search efforts.

Tragic Discovery

Late on Monday evening, at approximately 11:20 p.m., Contreras’ body was located in a rugged area several dozen yards off the designated course. Major Ferrell described the terrain as challenging.

Investigation Initiated

Brig. General Kelly and other officials refrained from speculating about the cause of Staff Sgt. Contreras’ death, emphasizing that the investigation had just commenced. Major Ferrell noted that recruits occasionally veer off course during training, but the reason behind Contreras’ deviation remains unclear.

Remembering Staff Sgt. Contreras

Staff Sgt. Jaime Contreras, previously stationed with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Liberty, North Carolina, had entered the eighth week of his ten-week training to become a drill sergeant. Brig. General Kelly announced plans for a memorial to honor Contreras, who hailed from Las Vegas, Nevada.


As the investigation into the death of Staff Sgt. Jaime Contreras commences, Fort Jackson mourns the loss of a dedicated soldier. The circumstances surrounding his death are yet to be determined, and authorities will diligently work to uncover the truth. The base community rallies together to support Contreras’ family and fellow soldiers during this difficult time. Updates on the investigation will be provided as they become available.

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