The family of Army Private First Class Vanessa Guillen is calling for an independent investigation into her disappearance and has called for Fort Hood, the base she was stationed at, to be closed if she is found dead.
What We Know:
- The 20-year-old was last seen on April 22, wearing a black t-shirt and purple workout pants. Her car keys, wallet and ID were found in the armory room on the base where she was working that morning, but her phone is still missing.
- Investigators have said they suspect foul play, but her family says they are not doing enough, and now want the FBI or another federal agency to take over the case.
“They’re not here to help us find Vanessa,” family attorney Natalie Khawam told CBS News’ Mireya Villarreal. “They’re here to hoard that information because they don’t want us knowing what’s happened.”
- Khawam is demanding the Army release more information on Guillen’s disappearance, claiming “they’re covering up for each other” at the base. President of the League of United Latin American Citizens Domingo Garcia, who the family reached out to for help, agreed.
- In a recent development, remains recovered on Saturday were secured by homicide investigators and transported to the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas. So far, they have not been identified as belonging to Guillen, and the search for the soldier continues.
- Volunteers and law enforcement investigators, including the FBI, have scoured fields and a river near the base since Guillen’s disappearance. Her family, who know she was having some issues at the base, suspects someone she knew is responsible.
- “We understand that she was sexually harassed by a couple of her superiors at two different occasions that she reported to her family and her friends and her colleagues at work,” Khawam said.
At a recent press conference, her mother, Gloria Guillen, gave an emotional plea for justice for her daughter, who wanted to join the Army since she was 10-years-old. “If she comes up dead… close this base,” [translated from Spanish].