As the desperate search continues for missing Fort Hood soldier, Vanessa Guillen, her mother is hoping confidential information her daughter shared with her will lead to answers.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Guillen, 20 was reportedly last seen on April 22 at around 1 p.m. at the parking lot of the Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, in Fort Hood, Texas. Guillen left behind her car keys, barracks room key, identification card, and wallet in the Arms room, where she works.
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Despite exhaustive searches between family members, volunteers, and soldiers, Guillen is still missing, and her family says military investigators are not providing details into the investigation.
CrimeOnline spoke with Guillen’s mother, Gloria Guillen, who said that her daughter confided in her before she disappeared. Guillen apparently didn’t feel safe at Fort Hood, in part due to a sergeant who Guillen said had been sexually harassing her.
“[Guillen] said it was stalking and verbal harassment. He would look at her some type of way that would make any woman feel uncomfortable,” Gloria Guillen, who speaks Spanish, said through her daughter, Mayra Guillen, who translated on her behalf.
Guillen told her mother that the unnamed sergeant would also follow her when she went jogging, something she did routinely to stay active. Gloria pushed for the sergeant’s name and wanted to report the incident but held off when Guillen promised her she would take care of it. A few weeks later, Guillen disappeared.
Guillen also told her mother that felt that the base was “evil,” and had trouble sleeping at night, something that never happened to her before. Guillen’s fear at the base was one of the reasons she didn’t want her mother to report the sergeant. She felt getting her mother too involved would lead to trouble for Gloria.
“She [Guillen] told her [Gloria] she wanted to take care of it. Well, now look at happened,” Mayra Guillen added, referencing her sister’s disappearance.
Gloria added that she doesn’t trust the military investigators assigned to the case, who have allegedly refused to answer her questions.
“I feel there is a break in trust because me being her mother, I deserve to know, but they refuse to give me any details because it’s an ongoing investigation. What I don’t understand is how some information still reaches me but by word of mouth by soldiers. It’s not fair that they know and I don’t.”
Gloria is now pushing for the case to be given “fully to the FBI.” Currently, the Army Criminal Investigation Command leads the investigation.
“It’s long nights of agony and sadness to think that she’s suffering so much being kept away from her family,” Gloria added.
Where is Vanessa Guillen?
Mayra, who visited her sister twice at Fort Hood before she vanished, previously told CrimeOnline’s Nancy Grace that she had to go through a security gate and visitor’s center before she could enter the base. She also had to undergo a background check and provide fingerprints. She said that her car was inspected each time for additional passengers.
While it’s unclear if any additional visitors met Guillen on base before she vanished, Mayra said there should be a record of visitors who enter Fort Hood.
Fort Hood spokesperson Tom Rheinlander previously said in a statement that around 500 soldiers from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment had searched for Guillen throughout the base. Search teams eventually became smaller as groups formed to search targeted areas.
Rheinlander reportedly claimed that the Army CID was in contact with the family and kept them informed about the investigation. He admitted that since the case is ongoing, however, that officials have not released a lot of information, to “safeguard the process,” according to Stripes.
Guillen, who was born and raised in the Houston area, is described as a Hispanic female who stands 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 126 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. She has three tattoos: a cross with a flower and a flower, both on her left arm, and a mountain on her upper left shoulder. She also has a mole on the left side of her chin.
An eyewitness reportedly saw Vanessa near her barracks on the day she disappeared. She was wearing black Nike shoes, a black Nike shirt and purple leggings.
Family members said that Guillen not only loved to jog but has always been avid about sports and learning. She graduated in the top 15% of her high school class, where she played soccer and remained active with other physical activities.
Guillen had always dreamed of serving and protecting her country.
The U.S. Army CID is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for credible tips that lead to Guillen. Anyone with any information on the missing soldier’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Army CID Special Agents at 254-495-7767 or the Military Police Desk at 254-287-4001.
Meanwhile, the family created a GoFundMe page to help raise money to hire a private investigator.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Vanessa Guillen/Handout]