- The attorney for the family of US Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, the missing Fort Hood soldier, said Thursday that she was killed by a fellow soldier the same day she disappeared, the Army Times reported.
- US Army Spc. Aaron Robinson, who’d been a person of interest in the ongoing investigation, had fled Fort Hood and killed himself Tuesday night when law-enforcement officials approached him.
- Army investigators found that Robinson had used a hammer to attack Guillen, according to the attorney.
- Robinson used his girlfriend, who was married to someone else, to assist in burying Guillen’s remains after they attempted to burn her body, the attorney said.
- Partial remains discovered near Fort Hood have not yet been identified.
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The missing 20-year-old US Army soldier was killed by a fellow soldier the same day she disappeared, a family attorney, citing an investigation by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, said in a statement to Army Times published Thursday.
The attorney, Natalie Khawam, said she was briefed by Army investigators, who said US Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen was attacked by Aaron Robinson, a fellow soldier who was not within her chain of command, in an armory room at Fort Hood, Texas.
Robinson had used a hammer to attack Guillen, causing “her blood to be splashed all over the armory room,” Khawam told Army Times. (Armory rooms are used to store military weapons.)
Robinson enlisted his girlfriend, who was married to someone else, to assist in burying Guillen’s remains after they attempted to burn her body, Khawam said, adding that she was eventually dismembered with a machete.
Robinson, who had left Fort Hood, became a person of interest in the investigation Tuesday. Officials said he shot and killed himself when law enforcement approached him after tracking him down.
Robinson’s girlfriend was found, and she is in jail, Army Times reported. It was unclear whether charges have been filed.
Guillen previously complained of sexual harassment from one of her superiors, according to her family members. Khawam said Guillen “was afraid” to report the incident “because the sexual harassment was coming from her superiors.”
“So her concern was the retaliation, being blackballed,” the attorney said in a news conference. “We believe the person that killed her is that person that sexually harassed her.”
A separate investigation into the sexual-harassment allegation has been launched. As of Thursday, Army investigators said they did not find a connection between the sexual-harassment claim and her disappearance. They added that there was not yet credible evidence that she was sexually harassed.
On Tuesday, partial human remains were found in an area of Texas being investigated in the search for Guillen. Investigators were still trying to identify the remains, Fort Hood officials said during a press conference Thursday.
Guillen, a Houston native, was last seen at Fort Hood on April 22. Following her disappearance, investigators found the keys to her car and room along with other identification cards in the armory where she’d worked that same day.
More than 300 people were interviewed during the investigation, which spanned several law-enforcement agencies and nonprofits.
Fort Hood officials had been criticised for not widening its search for Guillen after her disappearance.
“They lied to our face,” Guillen’s sister, Lupe, said during a press conference. “They didn’t keep my sister safe. My sister is a human too.”