FORT HOOD, Texas – The attorney for Vanessa Guillen’s family said Wednesday morning during a press conference that human remains found Tuesday near the Leon River are believed to be Guillen’s and said her death was a result of sexual harassment in the military.
Natalie Khawam, the attorney for the family, said she believes that the person responsible for Guillen’s death was the man who committed suicide Wednesday morning and identified him as Aaron David Robinson.
“As we understand there are two suspects in custody and one killed himself,” Kahwam said.
She also shed more light on the sexual harassment allegations saying Guillen was taking a shower when a man, who was her superior, went into the showers and watched her.
Guillen reportedly told her friends, sisters, mother and other soldiers on the Army post about the harassment and was encouraged by those people to report it officially, Khawam said, but Guillen feared retaliation because the harassment was coming from her superiors.
“We demand a congressional investigation. This should never have happened,” said Khawam. “We have a dead person because of sexual harassment.”
Guillen’s family members, including her two sisters and her father, echoed the same sentiments during the press conference and demanded a congressional investigation. The mother did not attend the press conference because she was feeling ill, the family said.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was also at the press conference and said “I stand with the Guillen family in calling for congressional oversight.”
Gabbard noted that she served in the Army for 17 years as a platoon leader and company commander.
“I need everyone’s help to keep the story alive,” said Myra Guillen, Vanessa’s sister. “It’s not confirmed yet whether [the remains found are] my sister or not - but at this point, everything points to it.”
Myra said during the press conference that she met Robinson when she went to visit Fort Hood after Vanessa’s disappearance.
Lupe Guillen, another sister of Vanessa, spoke passionately during the press conference saying her sister deserves justice and asking “how can this happen while she was on duty?”
The Army posted an update on their website Wednesday saying a civilian suspect has been arrested by Texas Rangers in connection with Guillen’s disappearance.
“The civilian suspect is the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood Soldier and is currently in custody in the Bell County Jail awaiting charges by civilian authorities,” according to the Army update.
The reward for information regarding Guillen’s disappearance has climbed to $55,000 and the Army subsequently launched an investigation into sexual harassment allegations after Guillen’s family said she was harassed by one of her sergeants.
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