Vanessa Guillén's family says Army has identified her remains

Vanessa Guillén's family says Army has identified her remains
© U.S. Army

The family of Spc. Vanessa Guillén, a U.S. soldier whose months-long disappearance has drawn national attention in recent weeks amid criticism over the military’s handling of her case, said on Sunday that her remains have since been identified by the Army.

Guillén's family told The Washington Post that remains found last Tuesday have since been positively identified by the Army, more than two months after the soldier first disappeared from Fort Hood, an Army post in Texas. A lawyer for the family has also since confirmed the finding to ABC News

The report comes several days after Army officials said a suspect in the 20-year-old soldier’s disappearance, Spc. Aaron David Robinson, died by suicide and another, Cecily Anne Aguilar, was arrested. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Natalie Khawam, an attorney representing Guillén's family, said last week that Robinson killed Guillén with a hammer in an armory. With the help of Aguilar, who has been identified in multiple reports as Robinson’s girlfriend, Khawam said the two tried to burn Guillén's corpse before eventually dismembering her body.

Prior to her death, Khawam said that Guillén had intended to file a harassment complaint against Robinson. 

However, a spokesperson for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command has said there is “no credible information” to support claims that Guillén was sexually harassed.

In recent weeks, Guillén's disappearance has gained nationwide attention as more lawmakers have joined her family, which has also criticized the military’s handling of the case, in their calls for a federal investigation.

"It’s unacceptable that a young soldier simply disappears from a military base and is unaccounted for this amount of time," said Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas), who has also called for an "independent, federal investigation" into the matter. 

As more disturbing details have emerged surrounding the case, Domingo Garcia, the president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, also recently called on all women, especially Latinas, not to enlist in the Army, citing Guillén's disappearance.

"We are asking all women, especially Latina women or their families: Do not enlist in the Army until we have assurance they will be protected and taken care of when they serve our country,” Garcia said.

“And right now I just don't believe the military is capable of doing that because of what happened to Vanessa Guillén,” he added.