The family of missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen says the Army is not being forthcoming with answers into the investigation; they’re planning a trip to D.C. to ask Congressional lawmakers to take over the case.
“They’re not here to help us find Vanessa. They’re here to hoard that information because they don’t want us knowing what happened,” Guillen family attorney, Natalie Khawam, said, according to CBS 11.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 20-year-old Guillen disappeared on April 22. She was last seen 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. She was also called in on her day off, but it’s unclear who called her in or why.
Guillen’s mother, Gloria Guillen, previously told CrimeOnline that a sergeant at the base had been sexually harassing her daughter. Guillen told her mother she felt unsafe at the base but planned to “take care of it.” Within a few weeks, Guillen disappeared.
“[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 handle it.
Khawam previously said that the superior who may have sexually harassed Guillen was working with her in the armory the day she disappeared.
“We are not disclosing [the name] right now,” Khawam said.
Khawam added that there were at least two incidents of alleged sexual harassment. One involved a superior walking in on Guillen while she showered, and another incident involved a superior “verbally assaulting” Vanessa with crude remarks in Spanish, ABC 13 reports.
“The facts aren’t good. I don’t like them. There were a few incidents where she had told her colleagues, her friends, her family about being sexually harassed but she was afraid to report it. How does someone disappear on a base that has more protection and safeguards than anyone else on the planet?”
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command is now in charge of investigating the case, and although Army leaders have described the soldier’s disappearance as foul play, Khawam reportedly said that they know more than they are disclosing because the military is “covering up for each other.”
No names of any suspects have been released because the Army reportedly said there is are no credible reports at this time that Guillen was sexually harassed.
“Their own people are investigating their own people basically, and that creates an inherent conflict of interest,” Domingo Garcia, the national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) said.
Garcia is now offering a $25,000 reward to go along with the Army’s $25,000 reward for information that leads to Guillen. Rapper Baby Bash also offered $5,000, bringing the total amount to $55,000, according to NBC 6.
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.
Meanwhile, Guillen’s family is hoping a Congressional investigation will help bring them answers.
“Due to the lack of answers, safety, respect, and responsibility in Fort Hood, we are demanding a Congressional Investigation to be done,” Khawam wrote. “How can someone be sexually harassed on base, go missing on base and the family has not obtain answers in the last two months?”
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.
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.
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[Feature Photo: Vanessa Guillen/Handout]