Vanessa Guillen's Remains Identified By Army Authorities
Human remains found in June near Fort Hood have been confirmed as Guillen's. The soldier had been missing since April.
On Sunday, Army investigators confirmed that the human remains found near the Leon River in June to Vanessa Guillen, who had been missing since April. A criminal complaint obtained by People alleges that 20-year-old Army specialist Aaron Robinson killed Guillen in the armory room at Fort Hood, where she worked, and where her identification, wallet, and car keys were found in late April. The complaint presents Cecily Aguilar, 22, who had a romantic relationship with Robinson, as the second suspect facing charges in this case. Last week, Robinson died by suicide as authorities were closing in on him.
Natalie Khawam, the Guillen family's attorney, told CNN that Vanessa was beaten to death with a hammer before Robinson placed her body in a storage case. Aguilar allegedly said Robinson took Guillen's body to a bridge near the Leon River, where Robinson and Aguilar cut her body up and set it on fire. When the body didn't burn completely, the couple put the remains in three separate holes and covered them, according to the complaint.
The Guillen family and many in the Latinx community are demanding a congressional investigation of the case. Thousands of protesters marched in Houston on July 4 to demand justice for the slain soldier, and many are requesting that the Fort Hood military base be shut down. The #IAmVanessaGuillen movement on social media has other women who have served in the U.S. military coming forward with accusations of bullying, discrimination, and sexual harassment.
Latinx celebs are also speaking about Guillen's story and urging their followers to take action. Demi Lovato shared a post with a photo of a mural in Houston painted in Guillen's honor and information about how to demand a congressional investigation of her case.
Mexican American actress Eva Longoria also expressed her pain. "My heart is broken for the family of #VanessaGuillen," she wrote. "We must hold those men who are responsible for her death and anyone else who tried to cover it up! She deserves justice!"
Longoria remembered Guillen on Independence Day. "This Fourth of July I too want to bring attention to Vanessa Guillen," Longoria said, thanking actress Anjelah Johnson "for putting into words what needs to be said" and reposting her tribute to the soldier.
"She signed up to fight for that freedom and protect us and yet she wasn’t protected herself," Johnson wrote. "Her family fought and fought for help and answers and to get her story heard. People started hearing and demanding answers and finally when enough people made noise over 60 days later a real investigation was done and it was found that she was being sexually harassed by her sergeant and was killed and disposed of. ... This is so heartbreaking. Vanessa deserved better."