Man charged in fatal shooting of Fort Hood soldier who was left on secluded road

Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans found dead near lake; his Jeep was found torched

Brandon Michael Olivares has been charged with murder and possession of a firearm, Bell County Jail records show. (IMAGE: Bell County Jail) (KSAT)

HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas – A Central Texas man has been charged with murder in the slaying of a Fort Hood soldier whose body was found beside a road four miles from where his burned sport utility vehicle was found.

Brandon Michael Olivares, 28, of Killeen, was already booked into the Bell County Jail in Belton on an unrelated charge when he was charged Wednesday with murdering Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans.

His bond is set at $1 million, and jail records do not list an attorney for the man.

A police affidavit says he and Rosecrans were riding in Rosecrans’ Jeep on May 18 when Olivares shot the soldier and left his body beside a secluded road near Stillhouse Hollow Lake in Harker Heights, about 11 miles from Fort Hood.

His Jeep Renegade was found burning about four miles away, police said. The investigation into the vehicle fire remains ongoing.

Army secretary: Fort Hood has high rates of murder, assault

A murder warrant was obtained for Olivares on Wednesday, the Harker Heights Police Department said.

He was charged “following an extensive investigation” and a review of the case by the Bell County District Attorney’s Office.

Court records do not list a motive for the slaying.

The arrest of Olivares is the latest disturbing news to come out of Fort Hood this summer.

Fort Hood soldier drowns; 4th from base dead in months

The body of Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas, 24, was recovered Sunday after he went underwater while being pulled on an inner tube behind a motorboat on Stillhouse Hollow Lake, according to Fort Hood officials.

The body of Pvt. Mejhor Morta, 26, who officials said drowned, was found July 17 at the same lake.

Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, 20, disappeared from the base in April and her remains were found July 1 near the Leon River in Bell County, about 20 miles east of Fort Hood. According to a federal complaint, she was bludgeoned to death at the base by a fellow Fort Hood soldier, Army Spc. Aaron Robinson, 20, who later killed himself.

Following that case that has received national attention, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Thursday that he ordered an independent review of the command climate at Fort Hood.

On June 21, officials authorities discovered skeletal remains in a field in Killeen, near Fort Hood, which were subsequently identified as 24-year-old missing soldier Gregory Morales. U.S. Army officials suspect foul play in his death.

About the Authors:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.