Missing Texas soldier Vanessa Guillen was killed by fellow soldier at Ft. Hood, attorney says
Army investigators believe a Texas soldier missing since April was killed by another soldier on the base where they served, the attorney for the missing soldier’s family said Thursday.
Lawyer Natalie Khawam said the Army’s Criminal Investigations Division told her that the other soldier bludgeoned 20-year-old Vanessa Guillen with a hammer at Ft. Hood and later dismembered her body and buried the remains in the woods.
The Army said Wednesday that a soldier who was suspected in Guillen’s disappearance had killed himself. The Army also said a civilian suspect had been arrested.
On Thursday, the Army identified the soldier suspected in Guillen’s disappearance as Spc. Aaron David Robinson, of Calumet City, Ill. The civilian suspect was not named.
Khawam said she met with CID investigators Wednesday evening and was told that the suspect cleaned up the area where Guillen was killed, placed her body in a container and wheeled her out to his car.
“The whole thing is devastating, gruesome, barbaric,” Khawam said.
Later that afternoon, Khawam said, the soldier drove to pick up a woman and took the body to a nearby river. There, Khawam said, the pair tried to burn Guillen’s body, and later dismembered it with a machete. Then, they put cement on the body and buried the remains.
Tim Miller, of Texas Equusearch, who was assisting in the search for Guillen, told KHOU-TV in Houston on Thursday that investigators found a lid last week that belonged to a container consistent with one that a witness saw being loaded into a car on the night Guillen disappeared.
Investigators were called back to the scene this week when a man working in the area reported a foul odor. Miller said it appeared that someone had “buried her, put lime on her, mixed up concrete, put that over her, put dirt over her, rocks and stuff.”
The family had said they believed Guillen was sexually harassed by the military suspect, and they are calling for a congressional investigation, Khawam said Wednesday.
Army investigators said Thursday that they had no credible evidence that Guillen had been sexually harassed or assaulted.
“We are still investigating their interactions, but at this time there is no credible information for reports that Spc. Robinson sexually harassed Spc. Guillen,” said Ft. Hood CID Special Agent Damon Phelps.
Guillen was last seen April 22 in a parking lot at Ft. Hood, about 70 miles north of Austin. She was set to be promoted to specialist this month. Her car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet were found in the room where she was working the day she disappeared.
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