Fort Hood soldier arrested in killing of 32-year-old Texas woman
A Texas-based US Army post connected to a series of homicides during 2019-2020 is once again involved in a murder case with the recent arrest of one of its soldiers.
According to CNN, a Fort Hood soldier has been arrested for his alleged role in the 2019 killing of 32-year-old Chelsea Lynell Cheatham in Killeen, Texas, according to a news release from the Killeen Police Department.
A 20-year-old soldier named Cory Grafton was arrested Tuesday, the release said. He is being held on charge of first degree felony murder and his bond has been set at $1 million according to Bell County inmate records. It is unclear if he has legal representation.
On June 3, 2019, police were dispatched to a Days Inn in Killeen where a woman was reported unconscious and not breathing.
Although officers tried to revive her, Cheatham was pronounced dead at the scene, the release said. At the time, it was unclear if she had died from natural causes.
But recent autopsy results determined the death to be a homicide, the release said, and a witness linked Grafton to the scene.
Police also reported that Texas Rangers discovered Grafton's DNA on Cheatham.
"We confirm that Spc. Corey L. Grafton is an active duty Soldier assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood," Lt. Col. Chris Brautigam told CNN reporters. He said military records listed Grafton's first name as Corey, but police and jail records list it as Cory.
"The unit continues to cooperate with the Killeen Police Department and the Texas Rangers," he added.
The arrest comes amid a disturbing series of murders involving Fort Hood personnel, including the killing of soldier Vanessa Guillen.
Guillen, 20, was last seen alive on April 22 when she was recognized in a parking lot at squadron headquarters in Fort Hood.
Her car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she had been working earlier in the day.
Her remains were found in a shallow grave near the Leon River in rural Bell County on June 30. Guillen was bludgeoned to death with a hammer by Army Specialist Aaron Robinson, who eventually took his own life while being pursued by authorities.
And in early August, 28-year-old Brandon Michael Olivares was accused of killing 27-year-old Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans.
Authorities said Olivares and Rosecrans were traveling together in Rosecrans’ Jeep Renegade before he was shot. His Jeep was later found engulfed in flames.