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‘Why Did My Daughter Disappear?’ Mother Of Missing Soldier Wants Answers From U.S. Military
Vanessa Guillen has not been seen since vanishing from Fort Hood in Texas in late April, sparking widespread concern and calls for justice.
More than two months have passed since Pfc. Vanessa Guillen disappeared without a trace and her mother is calling on the military to release more information about their investigation.
Guillen, 20, was last seen on April 22 in Fort Hood, Texas, in the parking lot of her Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters, officials with the Fort Hood Press Center said in a news release.
While her car keys, barracks room key, identification card, and wallet were found in the armory room where she was working that day, Guillen herself has not been seen since. Now her disappearance is sparking questions from the community and frustration from her loved ones.
The military is currently handling the investigation, and Guillen’s mother demanded answers from them Tuesday, asking, “Where is my daughter?” NBC News reported.
“Two months have passed and we know nothing, nothing, nothing. What’s happened? What happened on that base? Why did my daughter disappear?” Gloria Guillen said. “I can’t bear anymore, not one day more because I’m not sleeping and I’m in bad health.”
Gloria Guillen said that she would like someone from outside of the military to investigate her daughter’s disappearance.
Prior to her disappearance, Vanessa Guillen told her mother that she didn’t feel safe at the base anymore and that she was being harassed by a sergeant. It had gotten to the point where Vanessa was having trouble sleeping, her mother said.
“[Vanessa] said it was stalking and verbal harassment. He would look at her [in] some type of way that would make any woman feel uncomfortable,” Gloria Guillen, who speaks Spanish, said through a translator.
The sergeant would routinely follow her when she went jogging, Vanessa told her mother. However, she refused to tell her mother the sergeant’s name. When Gloria suggested that she report the harassment, Vanessa reportedly said that she’d prefer to handle the situation on her own.
In the months since her disappearance, Vanessa Guillen’s case has gained widespread attention, with actress Salma Hayek pledging to post the missing soldier’s photo on her Instagram stories every day until she is found.
Politicians have also joined the search for Vanessa Guillen: Rep. Sylvia García, D-Texas, and State Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Texas, have both lended their support to the Guillen family, according to social media announcements.
Guillen’s family have held multiple demonstrations calling for justice for Vanessa, and have garnered the support of community organizations like the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), which announced on Tuesday that it would be adding an additional $25,000 reward for information leading to a discovery or an arrest in Vanessa Guillen’s case. There's an existing $25,000 reward already offered by the military, according to NBC News.
Authorities with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division Command have said that there is “no credible information or report” that Guillen was sexually assaulted, according to a recent press release. They also stated that they are working in tandem with other organizations to find Vanessa — including the FBI, the Belton Police Department, and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“We are completely committed to finding Vanessa and aggressively going after every single piece of credible information and every lead in this investigation,” Chris Grey, a spokesman for Army CID, said. “We will not stop until we find Vanessa.”
Vanessa Guillen was last seen wearing a black T-shirt and purple workout pants, according to authorities. She is Hispanic, with black hair and brown eyes. She is five feet, two inches tall, and weighs 126 pounds.
Authorities have asked that anyone with any information relating to the case to contact Army CID Special Agents at 254-287-2722 or the Military Police Desk at 254-288-1170.