Army confirms identity of US Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen’s remains
Spc. Guillen’s family believes her death is connected to sexual harassment.
Spc. Guillen had been missing from military base Fort Hood in Kileen, Texas for over two months.
On Tuesday (June 30), human remains were discovered in a shallow grave located near the Leon River, north of Austin. The discovery led to an immediate search for 20-year-old US Army Specialist Aaron David Robinson, who killed himself the next day, after his girlfriend, Cecily Ann Aguilar alerted him that authorities found “the pieces” belonging to Spc. Guillen’s body.
Aguilar has been charged with evidence tampering and is facing 20 years in federal prison.
Spc. Guillen’s family has openly criticized the Army for their lack of urgency in the matter. They believe her death is connected to sexual harassment. Spc. Guillen previously expressed to family members that she didn’t feel that she could safely report the harassment to higher-ups.
“She felt if she spoke, something would happen,” her sister Mayra Guillen told The Washington Post. “I now realize everything leads back to them harassing her at work.”
Subsequently, the sexual harassment allegations led to confessions from other female service members and veterans who shared their collective experiences of assault and harassment in the military on social media using the hashtag, #IAmVanessaGuillen.
On April 22, she returned to the armory where she worked after leaving her car keys, barracks room key, Army identification card, and wallet. The armory was overseen by Spc. Robinson where he bludgeoned her to death in the head using a hammer. Aguilar allegedly helped dispose of the body.
Aguilar, an estranged wife of a former soldier, claims that Spc. Robinson feared that Spc. Guillen, who knew of their relationship, would report him since adultery is a crime in the military.
Spc. Guillen’s family disagrees and maintains Spc. Guillen was being sexually harassed.
The FBI has filed a criminal complaint and a hearing for Aguilar is slated to take place early next week.
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