Vanessa Guillen, a soldier stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, has been missing since the afternoon of Wednesday, April 22. Her car keys, car and wallet were still at the base, but she may have had her phone with her. If you have any information, please call the Army CID Special Agents at 254-495-7767 or the Military Police at 254-287-4001. Here’s what we know so far about what happened to Vanessa Guillen.
Guillen, originally from Houston, remained missing on May 7. A suspect believed to be connected to the case shot and killed himself on June 30. Aaron Robinson was a Fort Hood soldier and family members said he may have been the person who harassed Guillen. A woman is also in custody in connection with the case.
Guillen’s family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help with the search. Her sister, Mayra Guillen, wrote, “I have found myself forced to ask for help from every single one of you guys… never had I though that I’d be found in this situation. Hoy por mi mañana por ustedes.”
Mayra Guillen added, “My situation right now is not it’s best as I am not working and I’m on top of my sister’s case, I will not let this case fall cold, I’m not stopping until I find her. This will also open doors for many of the other soldiers that have gone missing. I’m in the process of hiring a PI as you guys know…. they are super expensive. But I know with God’s help and all of you guys we’ll be able to bring Vanessa BACK HOME! May God bless you.”
Here’s what you need to know about the search for Guillen:
1. She Was Last Seen at Fort Hood on the Afternoon of April 22
Guillen, 20, is stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. She was last seen at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, in the parking lot of the Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters, 3rd Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, according to an Army press release. She’s a Private First Class in the Army, CNN reported. Family members circulating a missing person flyer said she was last seen in the Hell on Wheels parking lot between 16th and 19th streets on Fort Hood.
Fort Hood is located in Killeen, Texas. This map shows the general location of the Fort Hood base.
According to a Facebook post by a friend, her phone pinged in a couple locations in Texas the day she went missing. Authorities have not confirmed this information and the post is no longer visible, so it’s not clear if this information was accurate.
It’s not known if Guillen was last seen by a specific person or on camera.
On Monday, Fort Hood officials said they expected an update from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command but didn’t get any new information, the Statesman reported.
Guillen’s sister, Mayra Guillen, said she last spoke with her sister the night before she was last seen. They talked about how Vanessa had planned to buy a new car, Mayra told the Statesman.
2. Her Car Keys, Room Key & Wallet Were Left Behind
Guillen had been working earlier in the day in the armory room. Her car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet were found in the armory room.
According to Facebook posts by her sister, Guillen hasn’t had any contact with close friends, family or her boyfriend. Her car is also still at Fort Hood. “Something is not right please help me find her,” Mayra Guillen wrote on Facebook.
In response to questions about cameras at Fort Hood, multiple people have said on Facebook that there just aren’t many cameras on the base. In one discussion on The Ft. Hood Fallen, one person who was at Fort Hood a year ago wrote: “There aren’t many cameras. Just a fact for Hood. Red light cameras, perhaps, but surveillance? No.”
Fort Hood, as with many other places, has been under special shelter-in-place orders due to the coronavirus outbreak. This includes not checking ID cards but instead running entry onto the base through an automated ID card scanner. In addition, no visitors have been allowed onto the barracks or on-post housing during the pandemic. A curfew was set for 10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. every day, with soldiers only allowed to travel outside of curfew hours for essential functions.
3. She Was Wearing a Black Shirt, Purple Leggings & Black Shoes
Guillen was last seen wearing a black T-shirt. Further details about what she was wearing weren’t shared by the Army, but family members circulating a missing person post said she was also wearing light purple leggings and black Nike shoes. She’s 5-feet-2-inches tall, Hispanic, 126 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes, the Army shared.
Guillen’s boyfriend, Juan Cruz, shared on social media that she has three tattoos on her left arm, People.com reported.
According to a missing person flyer shared by family, she has a mole on the left side of her chin and three tattoos on her left arm: a cross with a flower and another flower on her left arm and a mountain on her upper left shoulder.
4. A $55,000 Reward Has Been Offered
The Army offered a $15,000 reward for information that leads to finding Guillen, KWTX reported. That reward was later raised to $55,000, News 4 San Antonio reported.
According to the Finding Vanessa Guillen Facebook page, which is shared by her family and friends, Guillen was physically active and enjoyed going to the gym, playing soccer with friends, running and working out.
“Vanessa’s biggest passion came to life after joining the military as she did right after graduating high school. Help us find her,” the page shared.
5. A Man Went Missing from Fort Hood in August & His Body Was Found in June
Guillen isn’t the first person to go missing from Fort Hood in the past year. Greg Wedel-Morales went missing in August 2019. In January, Kim Wedel wrote on Facebook: “Tomorrow Greg will be or would have been 24. I hate losing hope but 6 months of no word, no leads, no info makes it very difficult. Please help me out by continuing to look for and watch for him or listen for any information about him while in Texas. I miss him and want him home. Happy birthday baby boy. I love you to the moon and stars and back again.”
She also posted an update this week.
Wedel-Morales was going to be processed out of the Army in a few days when he disappeared, KXXV reported. He was reported missing on August 20, 2019, and was a private in the 150th Composite Transportation Company. He was marked AWOL when he first disappeared and later changed to Deserter. He had just purchased a black Kia Rio 2018, which was also missing. In September, his mother received a Facebook message from someone claiming he was being held hostage and asking for ransom money, KWTX reported. However, the message had his face photoshopped on someone else’s body as “proof.”
His body was found near Fort Hood in June, ABC 13 reported. Foul play is suspected in his death. His body was found in a field near the 3200 block of Florence Road in Killeen, Texas, Click 2 Houston reported.
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