Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Guillen family ‘believe’ missing Fort Hood soldier’s remains were found

Natalie Khawam, attorney for the family of missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen, said “we believe that her remains were found.”

The announcement made yesterday at press conference comes hours after the U.S. Army said it found partial human remains, which have not been identified yet, during a search for the missing soldier in Texas. The finding comes days after investigators said they suspected foul play related to her disappearance.

Mayra and Lupe Guillen, Vanessa’s sisters, said during the press conference that while they will continue to wait for the remains’ identification process to take place, they are demanding a congressional investigation of the Army’s handling of the case. “The human remains have yet not been confirmed, and I won’t lose hope,” said Lupe while trying to hold her tears.

The CID, the Army’s primary criminal investigative organization, said the process to identify the human remains can take time. “We need a congressional investigation as soon as possible. They lied to us since day one, Fort Hood. They’re hiding,” said Mayra.

Khawam also said that a suspect who apparently died by suicide early Wednesday morning in Killeen, Texas worked with Vanessa on the day she vanished. After the press conference, the Army confirmed that “one military suspect is deceased after taking his own life.” They also said that “a civilian suspect has been arrested by the Texas Rangers in connection with the disappearance of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen.”

Private First-Class Vanessa Guillen, 20, was last seen at a parking lot in Fort Hood, Texas, where she was stationed, on April 22. “This should never have happened, and we will never know what happened until we get a congressional investigation, because everything we were given was lies,” said Khawam. “We don’t know who’s covering up for who, but it doesn’t matter. We lost a life. We lost a beautiful young soldier and it’s time we fix our system.

NBC NEWS