Suspect arrested after site of memorial to slain Fort Hood soldier vandalized
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Lewis Mbote, 29, was arrested late Wednesday afternoon on a warrant charging criminal mischief in connection with vandalism at the site of a memorial to slain Fort Hood Spc. Vanessa Guillen, Killeen police said.
Officers found Mbote in the 100 block of West Avenue G in Killeen just before 5 p.m. Wednesday.
A surveillance camera recorded the incident on the night of Oct. 1 as a man dressed in dark colored clothing kicked and broke candles used to form a large heart at the base of a mural painted to honor Guillen.
The mural outside a Fort Hood gate has been the setting of numerous candlelight vigils and protests in the wake of Guillen’s murder.
"Many people in our community have spent considerable amount of time putting the Vanessa Guillen mural together only to have someone vandalize it in a senseless manner, police spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez said in a Facebook post Wednesday.
Investigators are asking anyone with information about Mbote’s whereabouts to call the Killeen Police Department at (254) 501-8800.
Guillen, who has become a symbol in the fight against sexual harassment and sexual assault in the military, disappeared sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on April 22 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 were later found in the armory room where she had worked earlier in the day.
Her remains found on June 30 near the Leon River in Bell County were those of missing Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen.
According to a federal affidavit, Spc. Aaron David Robinson, of Calumet City, Ill., beat Guillen to death with a hammer and, with help from his girlfriend, Cecily Anne Aguilar, 22, of Killeen, dismembered and burned the soldier’s body.
Robinson was assigned to Alpha Company, 3rd Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood.
He was not Guillen’s supervisor, but did work in a building adjacent to where Guillen
Robinson shot himself in the head on July 1 in the 4700 block of East Rancier Avenue as Killeen officers approached him.
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