Suspect in disappearance of missing soldier Vanessa Guillen killed himself, Fort Hood says

National News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KXAN) — A suspect in the disappearance of soldier Vanessa Guillen killed himself early Wednesday morning after fleeing Fort Hood, the base said.

In a press conference Wednesday, Guillen’s family said that unidentified human remains found in Bell County on Tuesday are believed to be the missing 20-year-old soldier.

“We believe that her remains were found. We believe the suspect killed himself in the morning,” said Natalie Khawam, the attorney representing the Guillen family.

“That unfortunately doesn’t provide us with much information about how this happened, why this happened, why a beautiful young soldier is not with us today.”

Fort Hood confirmed Wednesday that the man who died was a military suspect.

Additionally, the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood solider has been arrested in connection with Guillen’s disappearance, Fort Hood said. She is in the Bell County Jail awaiting charges.

Khawam, Guillen’s family and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard demanded a Congressional investigation into her disappearance during the emotional press conference in Washington, D.C.

Private First Class Vanessa Guillen, 20 (Photo courtesy United States Army Criminal Investigation Command)

“Everything we were given were lies, it was evasive, they were not sincere – they were actually very disingenuous to us,” Khawam added.

“I don’t know who is covering up for who, but it doesn’t matter.”

She said that Guillen died “because of sexual harassment,” adding that women and men should not fear reporting harassment in the military.

“It’s 2020. What’s happening?” Khawam said.

“We stand here for Vanessa. We stand here for justice. We stand here for every other service member who has experienced sexual harassment or assault and did not feel safe reporting it out of fear of retaliation,” said Gabbard, who served in the military for 17 years.

“We need to know why she did not get the help she needed when she needed it. Congress needs to do its job. The Department of Defense needs to do its job,” she added.

On Tuesday, investigators searching for Guillen found partial human remains close to the Leon River in Bell County. Those remains have not been officially identified.

Investigators continue to process the scene where the remains were found, Fort Hood said.

“We have made significant progress in this tragic situation and are doing everything possible to get to the truth and bring answers to the family of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen,” said Chris Grey, the spokesman for Army CID.

Fort Hood said the suspect who died was a junior soldier who fled the post late on Tuesday.

The man fatally shot himself as investigators approached him early Wednesday morning, according to Killeen Police and Fort Hood.

Guillen was last seen April 22 and there is a large reward offered for information leading to her whereabouts. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia confirmed June 23 that U.S. Army investigators suspect foul play in her disappearance and called for Congress to conduct an investigation.

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