IDF lone soldier David Menahem Gordon, who has been missing since Sunday, was found dead Tuesday afternoon, the IDF said in a statement.
The 21-year-old Givati Brigade soldier, a resident of Jerusalem, was found dead in central Israel with his rifle by his side, the statement read.
Gordon, a lone soldier originally from the US, was last seen at around midday Sunday in the Medical Corps facility in the Tzrifin army base outside Rishon Lezion.
Israeli police issued a request on Tuesday for assistance in locating Gordon.
Police said there was particular concern because Gordon, who had served with the Givati infantry unit in the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge, was an exemplary soldier who did not have any disciplinary issues.
TEAM GORDON! thanks to all who were able to make it out to my tekes! Ben Huisman Chavivah Amanda Bluth Sam Maizlech Chezky Kamins Shayna Stiebel Avraham Mamann Mendel Silverman Sarah Baila Gordon Michael Ganoe
“As far as we know from investigations so far he arrived at Tzrifin two days ago for dental treatment, received the treatment, then left the medical corps, and since then his trail has vanished,” police said.
His family has been notified, and military police were investigating the circumstances of his death.
According to Magen, a child protection agency based in Beit Shemesh, Gordon was a survivor of sexual abuse as a child, and contacted the group after he made aliyah. He was determined to use his experience to help others.
In a Huffington Post blog post entitled, “Why I’m Choosing Leadership over Privacy,” Gordon revealed the abuse he had suffered at the hands of members of the Detroit Jewish community.
“One reason why victims of abuse are also called survivors is because so many don’t make it,” he wrote. “So many are too ashamed to reach out and frequently fall into depression, violence, addiction and ultimately into death’s arms. But we can be brave and stand up for what we know is right. Together our voices can be louder than ever. I know that I alone cannot change the world, but together we can make a difference.”
According to Magen, Gordon set up their website, helped in media relations, and handled specific cases of children needing protection.
In a Facebook message written after returning from Operation Protective Edge, Gordon wrote that he was “unbelievably overwhelmed, not from this mission but from the support and messages of encouragement from family, friends and strangers. I am OK and I’ve never felt more loved. Thank you all!”