Vanessa Guillen: ‘Well-concealed’ remains believed to be missing soldier found covered in concrete and rocks
HOUSTON, TEXAS: The remains believed to belong to missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen were found hidden under concrete, investigators have revealed.
Guillen, a 20-year-old private first class, was last seen in the parking lot of the Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters, 3rd Cavalry Regiment at around 1 pm on April 22, 2020. Her car keys, barracks room key, identification card, and wallet had all been reportedly left in the Arms room.
After more than two months where little headway was made in her disappearance, investigators made a breakthrough at a location roughly 30 miles from Fort Hood after finding the lid to a pelican storage case.
A witness then corroborated that they had seen the case being loaded into a car at around 8:30 pm on the night Guillen disappeared. When another man reported smelling a foul odor in the area where the lid was uncovered, investigators said they knew they were in the right location.
They discovered remains buried in a shallow grave nearby. While they have not yet been positively identified, Texas Equusearch's Tim Miller has called off the search in the belief that they belong to the missing 20-year-old soldier.
"It appears he buried her, put lime on her, mixed up concrete, put that over her, put dirt over her, rocks and stuff," he told KHOU, adding that the remains had been "well-concealed."
Prior to her disappearance, Guillen had told her mother Gloria that she didn't feel safe at Fort Hood, partly because of a sergeant who had been sexually harassing her. "She said it was stalking and verbal harassment. He would look at her some type of way that would make any woman feel uncomfortable," her mother told CrimeOnline.
She had also complained that the sergeant followed her while she was jogging and said that the base was "evil" because she had trouble sleeping at night, something that never happened to her before.
Two suspects had been identified by authorities in Guillen's disappearance, a soldier at Fort Hood base, and a woman who is a civilian and the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood soldier.
The former had attempted to flee the base, and according to a statement by the Killeen Police Department, killed himself after he was tracked to the 4700 Block of East Rancier Avenue around 1:29 am on Wednesday, July 1.
"As officers attempted to make contact with the suspect, the suspect produced a weapon and committed suicide by shooting himself," they said, adding he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the scene.
Guillen's sister, Mayra, said she had met the suspect and that she knew there was something off about him. "When I first went up to that base, that subject, I met him not knowing that he had something to do with it," she said. "I felt something was telling me that he did something. He still had the nerve that same day to laugh in my face and apparently now he kills himself. Why? I don't know, but whoever is responsible has to pay."
The civilian was arrested by Texas Rangers and is currently being held at the Bell County Jail awaiting charges.