Army now suspects foul play in disappearance of 20-year-old soldier
FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - The Army now suspects foul play in the disappearance of a 20-year-old Fort Hood soldier, a Fort Hood official said Tuesday after a meeting with the family of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen.
“I want my daughter. We need to go to Congress, to the President. We are wasting our time here (Fort Hood),” Guillen’s mother, Gloria Guillen said during a news conference following the meeting Tuesday afternoon.
“I am asking the president to help me investigate because I don’t believe anything they say,” she said angrily.
“God forbid she comes back dead, I will close this base. I’ll move the Earth and the sky to close down this base because it’s a rotten base. It’s a rotten base. They say it’s the best place…the best place for who? The best place to sequester to violate and kill. It’s not fair. It’s not fair that’s why I stay fighting,” she said.
Guillen reported just before her disappearance an unnamed sergeant had walked into a shower with her, the family’s attorney said.
Post officials say an investigation into allegations Guillen was sexually harassed continues.
Guillen disappeared sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on April 22.
She was last seen in the parking lot of her 3rd Cavalry Regiment Engineer Squadron Headquarters.
Keys to her car and her barracks room and her ID card and wallet was later found in the armory room where she had worked earlier in the day.
She was last seen wearing a black T-shirt and purple fitness-type pants.
Guillen, an avid runner, is 5-foot-2, weighs 126 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.
A reward totaling $50,000 is offered for information leading to her whereabouts.
Texas Equusearch volunteers and Fort Hood investigators were combing the Leon River for a second day Monday in the search the missing soldiers.
About 30 volunteers from the search group were joined by Department of Public Safety troopers and Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife personnel in the search of the river, which started Sunday.
Guillen’s mother said she was devastated when she saw images of the search Monday.
“I know my daughter isn’t there. They took too long to look for my daughter I begged them from the beginning to look for my daughter. I asked from the beginning that they close that base down and have the 30,000 plus soldier look for my daughter and they didn’t do it” she said.
U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston and representatives of U.S. Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and U.S. Reps. John Carter and Roger Williams, R-Texas, whose districts include the post, accompanied members of Guillen’s family Tuesday.
“I still have many questions after my visit,” Garcia said, “but I appreciate (Fort Hood’s) commitment to finding Vanessa and willingness to continue working with us until Vanessa is found.”
(Christy Soto and Joe Villasana contributed to this story)
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