TEMPLE — An Easter outing at Lake Belton turned tragic when a Fort Hood soldier drowned in the water just off Temple Lake Park.

The soldier was with a group Sunday afternoon enjoying the park on the Easter holiday. Four soldiers went swimming and one went under in the choppy water at about 1:56 p.m. police said.

“A strong wind caused him to go down,” Temple Police Department spokeswoman Shawana Neely said Sunday.

Temple Police and other emergency responders arrived minutes later, but were unable to immediately find the man’s body.

The soldier’s body was later located off the shore of Temple Lake Park after authorities searched for hours.

The man was pronounced dead by Bell County Justice of the Peace Don Engleking.

The name of the soldier will be released at a later date by Fort Hood officials, police said.

“He was out in the water,” Neely said. “It’s a sad, sad, deal.”

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