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Autopsies: Soldiers deployed to Arizona-Mexico border died by suicide

Posted: 4:48 PM, Jun 27, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-27 19:50:46-04
Secretary Mattis approves extension of troop deployment on Mexico border

TUCSON, AZ — A medical examiner says two soldiers helping secure the Mexico border in Arizona died by suicide.

Pima County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Greg Hess said Thursday the soldiers died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

Officials say 20-year-old Pfc. Steven Hodges of Menifee, California, died June 1 near Nogales, and 21-year-old Pfc. Kevin Christian of Haslet, Texas, died Sunday in Ajo, about 200 miles from Nogales.

Both soldiers were assigned to the Southwest Border Support Mission.

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Military officials say the circumstances of the deaths are under investigation.

About 2,400 service members are assigned to the border mission.