Vanessa Guillen's Family Believes Human Remains Belong to Her
WASHINGTON D.C. — In an emotional press conference, the family of Private First-Class Vanessa Guillen addressed the finding of human remains that were located near Fort Hood on Tuesday.
"We believe that her remains were found," said attorney Natalie Kahwam. "We believe that the suspect had killed himself in the morning. And that, unfortunately, does not provide us much information about how this happened, why this happened. About why a beautiful young soldier is not with us today.”
According to reports, authorities have not confirmed the remains found in a shallow grave along the Leon River belong to the 20-year-old soldier, but the family believes the remains belong to their daughter.
According to her family, Guillen had disclosed to family, friends, and other soldiers stationed at the army post that she had been sexually harassed by a male superior. The family’s attorney described a situation where Guillen was taking a shower when a superior walked in, sat down, and watched her. Guillen disappeared from Fort Hood on April 22, leaving behind her car keys, barracks room key, identification card, and wallet were found in the armory room where she was working earlier in the day and no clues of her whereabouts.
According to Kahwam, there were at least two suspects have been identified in connection to the disappearance. Based on the information provided to the family and the media, the suspect who committed suicide Wednesday morning was a Fort Hood soldier. According to Kahwam, a BOLO had been issued for the soldier after he fled the arm post on foot.
The second suspect is a civilian who has not been identified but has been described as the estranged wife of a soldier. The identities of the dead suspect and the civilian suspect have not been released.
According to Guillen’s sister Myra, she remembers meeting the dead suspect when the family first met with Fort Hood leaders after Guillen disappeared.
"I met him not knowing that he had something to do with it," she said. "I felt, something was telling me that he did something, and I wasn't wrong, apparently. He still had the nerve that day to laugh in my face. And apparently, now, he kills himself. Why I don't know. But whoever's responsible has to pay."
The Guillen family is demanding a congressional investigation into their daughter's disappearance because they feel that's the only way they'll get any information from the military on the matter. They also want a bill in her name that establishes an external organization where members of the U.S. military can report sexual harassment.
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