SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - An autopsy report on a 23-year-old Army veteran whose body was found in the Sam Rayburn Reservoir on Jan. 26 stated that he died as a result of self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Fishermen found Amon Gift's body in a cove just south of Mill Creek Park on the southeast side of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir at about 2 p.m. Thursday.
Earlier this week, a Sabine County justice of the peace received the autopsy report from Forensic Medical Services of Texas in Beaumont. Dr. John Ralston performed the autopsy on Gift's body on Jan. 27.
"Gift was a U.S. Army veteran who had recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan," the press release stated. "Gift suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder which originated when he was involved in two separate bombings while serving overseas. Gift's family said he has recently been struggling with depression due to his PTSD, and it appeared to be worsening."
Gift, a Houston resident, had been missing since Jan. 20. His family members told authorities that he left Houston in his 2008 Dodge Dakota, the press release stated.
"Gift left messages with his family and clues at the location where his truck was found that he may be in the Mill Creek area," the press release stated. "Gift's truck was found by local residents in a heavily wooded area off of County Road 222 in Brookeland on Tuesday, Jan. 24th."
At that point, an extensive search effort was launched. Jasper County Sheriff Mitchel Newman enlisted the help of his deputies, the Jasper County Emergency Corps, and many volunteers. Newman also requested help from the Texas Department of Public Safety, which brought in a helicopter to search the area from the air, and the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office, which sent specially trained bloodhounds to search on the ground.
After the body was found, members of the Jasper County Emergency Corps, the Sabine County Sheriff's Office, and game wardens from the Texas Department of Parks & Wildlife used boats to recover Gift's body, and they brought it to shore.
Although Gift's body was found in Sabine County, the investigation into his death involved multiple Deep East Texas law enforcement agencies.