Ayyyeee…What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some very sad news to report and this story has been developing for over a month now. A soldier by the name of Vanessa Guillién was missing since April.
According to the Washington Post; Army investigators have positively identified the remains of Spc. Vanessa Guillén. Remains discovered Tuesday in a shallow grave east of the Texas installation triggered a manhunt that ended when one suspect Spc. Aaron Robinson killed himself as officers closed in According to the Army.
Guillén’s disappearance, and her family’s allegations that she was sexually harassed, drew attention from activists, lawmakers, celebrities and other soldiers. The family has also complained that the Army’s search for the 20 year old soldier lacked urgency and care at the highest levels.
Recovered bones, hair and other remains were used to identify Guillén on July 3; According to The family attorney Natalie Khawam.
Investigators moved too slowly to piece together evidence and secure phone data that led to the suspects more than two months after Guillén disappeared, said Khawam, who took the case pro bono.
“Her leadership failed her,” Khawam said. “The Army failed her.”
Vanessa Guillén was bludgeoned to death at Fort Hood on April 22, near where she was last seen, investigators said. The remains found Tuesday were so close to a site searched by investigators nine days earlier that they unknowingly stood on top of them, one search leader said.
Fort Hood and the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, which headed the investigation and is the service’s equivalent to the FBI, did not respond to a request for comment over the holiday weekend.
Guillén felt that she could not approach her chain of command with allegations, and instead confided in family. “She felt if she spoke, something would happen,” Mayra Guillén said. “I now realize everything leads back to them harassing her at work.”
“They broke her spirit,” sister Lupe Guillén added.
Guillén worked in an armory on the sprawling base outside Killeen, according to a criminal complaint filed by an FBI investigator in U.S. District Court.
On April 22, she left her car keys, barracks room key, Army identification card and wallet at her armory, and walked to the arms room overseen by Robinson.
Robinson beat Guillén in the head with a hammer in the arms room, killing her there, the complaint said.
Soon after, witnesses saw Robinson struggle with the heavy weight of a plastic tough box as he shoved it into his car and drove away. In an interview after her arrest, Aguilar said Robinson picked her up and took her to a site near the Leon River in Belton, east of Fort Hood. The box containing Guillén’s body was already there.
Information provided by earlier interviews with Robinson and his alleged accomplice, Cecily Ann Aguilar, reveals the harrowing last moments of Guillén’s life and the effort to hide her body.
Robinson and Aguilar dismembered Guillén, tried to burn the remains and buried them in separate holes, investigators said, before returning four days later to break up the remains, using concrete to conceal them.
Agents received location data from Robinson’s and Aguilar’s phones and pinpointed an area near the Leon River where their locations matched. On June 21, investigators searched the area and found a smoldered pit and trees that had fire damage, said Tim Miller, director and founder of Texas EquuSearch, a nonprofit organization that assists in searches and helped on the Guillén case.
Another month passed before investigators said Aguilar was interviewed about the calls, told agents she was with Robinson at his home the night of the killing, then recanted and said she was with him driving around, according to the complaint.
Scorched portions of a box were found, and there was an odor of decomposition, the complaint said, but investigators couldn’t find a body.
Guillén’s remains were just a few feet away, but they went undiscovered for an additional nine days until men building a fence nearby smelled the odor on Tuesday and looked around. They saw hair and called police.
The documents do not list a motive in the killing. But Khawam said the family was briefed for hours by CID officials and relayed statements made by Aguilar. She told investigators that Robinson told her Guillén saw a photo of Aguilar on his phone, and she knew Aguilar to be an estranged wife of a former Fort Hood soldier.
Aguilar was in custody by the evening. Robinson was confined to his barracks room but “absconded” from Fort Hood later in the evening, the complaint said. Police had Aguilar call Robinson, the complaint said. “Baby, they found pieces, they found pieces,” Robinson told Aguilar.
Police confronted Robinson in the early hours of Wednesday in Killeen, near a church and dollar store. He displayed a firearm and fatally shot himself, investigators said.