Vanessa Guillen's Family Now Fears the Missing Soldier Is Dead
After human remains were discovered near Fort Hood, Vanessa Guillen's family have now lost hope that the missing soldier will be found alive.
The family of missing soldier Vanessa Guillen fears she is dead after human remains were found by the Leon River in Texas, near the Fort Hood military base where the 20-year-old went missing on April 22. "This should never have happened, and we will never know what happened — ever — until we get a congressional investigation," Natalie Khawam, the lawyer representing the Guillen family, told reporters. "I don't know who's covering up for who, but it doesn't matter. We lost a beautiful young soldier, and it's time we fix our system."
The Guillen family is heartbroken and said during a press conference Wednesday they believe the remains found are hers. In June, the Army opened an investigation into sexual harassment claims after discovering that Vanessa Guillen told her loved ones she had been sexually harassed by a sergeant who went into her bathroom and watched her showering. In an interview with People, the family's attorney said she believes Guillen was sexually harassed by the suspect in the case, a soldier (whose identity has not been revealed) who killed himself as authorities closed in on him Wednesday.
Lupe, Guillen's sister, argued the Fort Hood personnel lied to the family repeatedly when they asked questions about her disappearance and her sexual harassment claims. "They lied to our faces every single day ... which is more than two months," Lupe said. She added that officials at the military base "didn't respect my sister. They didn't keep my sister safe. They're always trying to cover up for each other." Fort Hood hasn't yet responded to People's inquiry about the allegations.
Guillen was last seen on April 22 in a parking lot in the Fort Hood military base. Her car keys, barracks room key, identification card, and wallet were found in the armory room where she had been working earlier in the day.
In a statement to People, the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command revealed that the suspect escaped Fort Hood on Tuesday: "While law enforcement agencies attempted to make contact with the suspect, the suspect reportedly displayed a weapon and took his own life."
Another suspect was arrested and is in custody at the Bell County Jail. She has been identified by the U.S. Army as "the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood Soldier."
On Wednesday, during a televised press conference, Khawam said Guillen's family would not rest until justice is done. "We lost a life. We lost a beautiful young soldier," Khawam said. "Enough is enough." Lupe added about her sister: "She deserves to be heard. If this could happen to my sister, it could happen to anyone else."