Back in April, a 20-year-old Army soldier named Vanessa Guillen went missing from Fort Hood Army Base in Kileen, Texas. Her family has been searching for clues for months, and have expressed frustration with the base for their handling of the situation, and the unsafe conditions their facility. Guillen was last seen in the parking lot of her Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters at Fort Hood.
Sadly, it appears that a group of volunteers found human remains that they believe to be evidence of the soldier’s death. The remains were found in the same area where the remains of another Fort Hood soldier were recently discovered.
Two weeks ago, skeletal remains of Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales were found in a field near the base after U.S. Army investigators received a tip directing them to the location of the body.
Wedel-Morales had been missing since Aug. 20, 2019, a day after he was seen driving off the Fort Hood base. He was also scheduled to be discharged from the Army within days of his disappearance, according to Army officials.
Tim Miller, the founder of Texas Equusearch, said that personal items of Guillen’s were also found in the recent search. While it is still unclear if the remains found belong to the missing soldier, the evidence has been sent to homicide investigators and transferred to the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas to be analyzed. Unfortunately, because of the fact that her personal items were found so close nearby, investigators are confident that they have found the body.
Natalie Khawan, a lawyer representing the family, told Univision Noticias that they asked the military to review surveillance cameras at the base in hopes that there could be key information that would offer some clues on what happened to Guillen, but they were told that there were no security cameras installed at the site. Khawan also said that they have asked the proper authorities to secure cellphones that may have received messages from Guillen in the moments leading up to her disappearance. Khawan also said that a message that was sent from Guillen’s phone include the serial number of a weapon, and said that the content of the message was highly suspicious, and believes that the strange message could be sent from someone else.
“The serial number of a firearm was sent from Vanessa’s cell phone. This text message is very unusual for us because it is not something that is normally sent between the soldiers of the base. So we think that there is a possibility that someone else had sent the message, but the military authorities do not want to tell us the recipient of it,” Khawan said.
According to Guillen’s family, she accused an unnamed official at the base of sexually harassing her and said that she feared for her safety before her death. In one case, Guillien said that one of the Sargents at the base would follow her into the shower, but she was afraid of him so she never made a formal complaint. Officials have said that these claims are being investigated.
The search is intensifying for Vanessa Guillen, a young soldier who has been missing from her Fort Hood, Texas, base since April. Army investigators suspect foul play in her disappearance, as Guillen previously reported she had been sexually harassed.https://cbsn.ws/31slay5
Posted by CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell on Monday, June 29, 2020