Rep. Horn calling for independent investigation into Vanessa Guillen case

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WASHINGTON (KFOR ) – A Congresswoman from Oklahoma is calling for an independent investigation into the handling of the Vanessa Guillen case at Fort Hood.

Vanessa Guillen, 20, had been missing since April and was last seen in the parking lot of her barracks at Fort Hood on April 22, according to the US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID). Her remains were found June 30.

Guillen was bludgeoned to death with a hammer in the armory room where she worked.

Her body was transported from the military installation by her killer, family attorney Natalie Khawam said, citing details the family learned during a meeting with Army investigators Thursday.

Vanessa Guillen Missing Soldier

Khawam told CNN on Sunday that Guillen couldn’t be identified by her medical records because her face had been beaten so badly. Her remains had to be sent to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to be identified.

The main suspect in disappearance was identified by officials on Thursday as Spc. Aaron David Robinson, who shot himself Wednesday after being confronted by investigators, according to the Killeen Police Department.

Khawam said the family told her that Guillen had planned to file a harassment complaint against Robinson the day after she was killed, and that they believe Robinson became enraged when she told him that. However, Robinson told authorities Guillen wanted to report him having a relationship with a married woman, something the Guillen family disputes.

U.S. Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen
U.S. Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen. (NEXSTAR)

Fort Hood officials said they were not aware of reports of sexual harassment involving Robinson but the investigation was ongoing.

A woman identified as Cecily Anne Aguilar, who is the estranged wife of a former soldier from Fort Hood, was arrested by Texas Rangers in connection with Guillen’s disappearance.

Now, Congresswoman Kendra Horn is urging the Department of Defense Inspector General Sean O’Donnell to conduct an independent investigation into Fort Hood’s handling of Guillen’s case.

“The heartbreaking death of Specialist Vanessa Guillén is a tragic reminder that we still have much work to do to address the epidemic of sexual assault in the military. Our men and women in uniform who put everything on the line to defend our country, should never have to experience sexual violence, harassment, assault, and murder, at the hands of another service member” said Congresswoman Horn. “There are still many questions surrounding SPC Guillén’s senseless death and the failed investigation into her disappearance. We must seek answers and justice for the Guillén family, including an independent investigation by the DoD Inspector General.  But we cannot stop there. In 2019, the U.S. military saw a three percent increase in sexual assault cases, and there are still far too many accounts of sexual harassment and assault being dismissed. There should be no room for harassment and assault in our Armed Forces or the culture that enables it.”

Horn, who served on the House Armed Services Committee, is one of a handful of lawmakers calling for an investigation into Guillen’s case.

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