FORT HOOD, Texas – Vanessa Guillen was a 20-year-old Army specialist stationed at Fort Hood who disappeared in April.
A gruesome affidavit from the FBI details the investigation surrounding the death of specialist Guillen and her family believes human remains found near the Leon River on Tuesday belong to Guillen.
The two suspects in Guillen’s death have been identified as 22-year-old Cecily Aguilar, who has been charged with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence, and 20-year-old Army Specialist Aaron Robinson, who fatally shot himself in Killeen on Wednesday. A press release from Fort Hood identified Aguilar as the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood Soldier.
Below is a detailed timeline of the events surrounding Guillen’s disappearance:
- April 22 - Guillen was seen in the parking lot of her barracks at the Fort Hood Army post around 1 p.m.
- April 22- Robinson struck Guillen in the head with a hammer, killing her, according to Aguilar
- April 23 - Guillen was reported missing to the US Army Criminal Investigation Division
- June 9 - $15,000 reward offered for information leading to Guillen’s whereabouts by Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID)
- June 11 - Actress Salma Hayek joined the search for Guillen and pledged to post Guillen’s photo every day until she’s found
- June 13 - Houston rapper Baby Bash pledged to add $5,000 to reward to find Guillen
- June 15- CID increased reward for information that leads to Guillen’s whereabouts to $25,000
- June 16 - The League of United Latin American Citizens announced that it would match the $25,000 reward, bringing the total reward to $50,000
- June 18 - The army initiated sexual harassment investigation into allegations concerning Pfc. Vanessa Guillen
- June 23 - Fort Hood leadership updated Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, Congressional staff members from Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman John Carter, Congressman Roger Williams, and members of Vanessa Guillén’s family discuss details of the ongoing investigation, according to U.S. Army officials
- June 23 - Army officials “convinced now that there is foul play involved,” Texas Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia said in a press conference
- June 30 - Partial human remains were found near the Leon River during the search for Guillen
- June 30 - Aguilar spoke with investigators about the details surrounding Guillen’s death
- July 1 - Khawam says the body found June 30 is believed to be Guillen’s
- July 1 - Aguilar was arrested in connection to Guillen’s disappearance and taken to Bell County Jail to await charges
- July 1 - Guillen was promoted to specialist due to her time in the service
- July 2 - Senior officials at Fort Hood said no link had been found between Guillen’s disappearance and sexual harassment allegations
- July 5 - Khawam told CNN during an interview that Army investigators had positively identified Guillen’s remains but Army officials did not confirm
- July 5 - Rep. Joaquin Castro attended a vigil at Main Plaza in San Antonio for Guillen and said “the military, as far as I can tell, didn’t take her case seriously enough”
- July 6 - Aguilar appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Manske in Waco federal court via video conference
- July 6 - Fort Hood Senior Commander, Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt confirmed the remains found near the Leon River June 30 are Guillen
Army CID spokesperson Chris Grey said previously that “there are obviously pieces of information and evidence that cannot be shared with the public during an active criminal investigation. Doing so can seriously jeopardize the charging and successful prosecution of individuals. When important investigative information is prematurely released, criminals can and will destroy evidence, conspire to change their stories, build false alibis, etc.”
3rd Cavalry Regiment Troopers continue their search for Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, looking through shallow river beds on the Fort Hood instillation. Find out more at https://t.co/q6JhrVdc4r#FortHood #VanessaGuillen #FindVanessaGuillen #USArmy pic.twitter.com/HBqblmZZU0— Fort Hood (@forthood) June 18, 2020
Khawam said the family is pushing for legislation in Guillen’s name that would provide “a separate agency, something like the EOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) in the private practice world. It would have an independent person, not part of the command, not part of the military, that’s unbiased. A different set of eyes.” They’re hoping the legislation will lead to unbiased investigations and reviews of sexual harassment allegations in the military.
Fort Hood Senior Commander, Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt confirmed on July 6 that the remains discovered near the Leon River were Guillen. “The Armed Forces Forensic Examiner has determined through DNA analysis, that the remains found near the Leon River are in fact those of Vanessa.”
However, Efflandt said “to the victims of sexual harassment and assault, we hear you, we believe you and I encourage you to come forward. The Army will not stop its efforts to eradicate sexual harassment and assault until it no longer exists in our formations, because that’s the Army standard.”
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