A 20-year-old woman disappeared from Fort Hood in Texas almost 2 months ago. The Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID), responsible for the investigation, said they still do not have any information.
What We Know:
- Private First Class Vanessa Guillen with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment went missing from the base on April 22, 2020. Guillen, a small arms repairer, was last spotted in the base’s parking lot around 12:30 p.m. Her car keys, ID, and personal belongings were all found in the armory room where she had worked earlier that day. Her car never left the premises.
- The 20-year-old soldier’s mother, Gloria Guillen, told the press that her daughter said she was being sexually harassed by a Fort Hood sergeant a week before she disappeared. Guillen told her mother that she felt unsafe but did not disclose any names.
“Two months have passed and we know nothing, nothing, nothing. What’s happened? What happened on that base? Why did my daughter disappear?” Gloria Guillen said.
- Gloria Guillen is concerned that the CID is not doing enough. Dozens of family and friends have rallied outside of Fort Hood in recent weeks in protest demanding answers. The family has since created a petition to hold the army accountable. The case got national attention after actress Salma Hayek vowed to post a picture of the missing soldier every day on her Instagram stories until she is found.
- This isn’t the first time that Fort Hood has made headlines or been associated with a scandal. Back in 2015, Fort Hood Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen pleaded guilty to more than a dozen military charges for running a prostitution ring where female soldiers were being pimped out to higher-ranking military officers.
- Fort Hood made headlines again earlier this year when 6 soldiers were arrested in a two-day prostitution sting that was organized by the Temple Police Department and Bell County Sheriff’s Department. A total of 14 people were arrested and charged with sex trafficking and running a prostitution and pimp ring on March 13 and 14.
- The Army initially offered a $15,000 reward for information and then increased it to $25,000. A Latino civil rights organization, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) matched their reward on Tuesday, bringing the total reward to $50,000.
Fort Hood officials said in a press release that the search continues and involves Army CID, the FBI, the Texas Rangers, and local law enforcement. Anyone with information is asked to contact Army CID Special Agents at 254-287-2722 or the Military Police Desk at 254-288-1170.