Two months ago, Vanessa Guillen—a 20-year-old woman serving as a PFC soldier on Fort Hood’s United States Army base—disappeared on April 22. She was last seen in the parking lot of her squadron’s headquarters around 12 p.m. that day. Although her car keys, barracks identification card, and wallet were located on-site in an armory room where she was repairing artillery, she and her phone were nowhere to be found. She was later found dead.
The Guillen family suspects foul play in Vanessa’s case because she previously told them she was being sexually harassed and feared retaliation. As a result, the Guillens hired an attorney to look into what happened, and they now suspect foul play from Fort Hood itself. “The facts aren’t good. I don’t like them,” Natalie Khawam, the Guillens’ family attorney, told Inside Edition. “There were a few incidents where she [Vanessa] had told her colleagues, her friends, her family about being sexually harassed but she was afraid to report it. How does someone disappear on a base that has more protection and safeguards than anyone else on the planet?”
Fort Hood’s Deputy Commander Major General Scott Efflandt waited until June 22—two full calendar months after Vanessa’s disappearance—before making a statement about her case for the first time. “We want to bring Vanessa home as efficiently and as rapidly as possible. And toward that end, I’m asking for your assistance,” he said in a Twitter video. “We need to bring Vanessa back to her Army family and to bring her back to her family, and we won’t stop this effort until we’re successful.”
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