Body of a soldier recovered from river in Georgia

The remains of the United States Army Soldier, who allegedly committed suicide earlier this month in Georgia, have been recovered.

Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield reported the death of one of their own, who jumped from a bridge in nearby Savannah on December 3.

“The Savannah Police Department identified remains found in the Savannah River on Wednesday as Spc. Estephan Nielsen, the soldier who jumped from the Talmadge Bridge on Dec 3,” Christopher Fletcher, director of public affairs for Fort Stewart, said in a statement.

The Savannah Police Department was the first to encounter Nielsen after receiving a report of an incident on a local bridge.

However, Nielsen jumped and a suicide attempt quickly became a body recovery mission.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Spc. Nielsen, and we offer our sincerest condolences to his Family and friends,” said Col. Ryan Sullivan, commander of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. “He was a valuable member of our unit, and we are working tirelessly to provide support to his family and members of our team during this difficult time.”

His younger brother opened up about his loss and encouraged people not to judge him for committing suicide.

“My older brother Estephan King Nielsen passed away on December 3rd, 2023. It was unfortunately a suicide and it is definitely a very tragic event. He was going through a lot and just had a few bad days and this is a result of that pain he was feeling but it is not a reflection of who he was or how he lived,” he wrote.

“Suicide is not the answer but I of all people understand that when you get down in those deep dark pits, it’s hard to see how anything can get better and you make decisions you would not normally make. I would like to ask every one of you to please not judge him, to not hate him, to not blame anybody, and for sure to NEVER hate God. It is not our place to judge. It’s God’s. Only him and Estephan know every single thing he went through in this life. He knows his pains, his joys, his heart, and his mind. In our religion we believe that we were informed before this life, of the trials and hardships we would endure on this mortal journey and yet we still trusted that we would one day return to God and be welcomed with open arms.”

According to WJCL, Nielsen joined the Army in March of 2017 and served as a motor transport operator.

He had no combat deployments but did have one rotation to Europe under his belt.

Fort Stewart Public Affairs has urged personnel feeling suicidal to seek help.

“If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 and press 1 for the Military Crisis Line. Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield have many resources available to Soldiers and Families, which includes Army Community Service, behavioral health treatment, Military Family Life Counselors, and religious services and chaplains, “ a statement read.

In the past two weeks, two drill sergeants have been found dead at Fort Jackson but their cause of death has yet to be released.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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