Fort Hood unveils gate named in honor of U.S. Army soldier Vanessa Guillén

Texas Politics

FORT HOOD, Texas (KXAN) — Nearly one year to the day after going missing at Fort Hood, Texas, U.S. Army Spc. Vanessa Guillén was honored at the base.

On Monday, Fort Hood officials unveiled an access gate dedicated to Guillén, who went missing April 22, 2020, before her remains were discovered along a Bell County river in July.

Suspects in the disappearance are Spc. Aaron David Robinson, 20, and Cecily Aguilar, his girlfriend. Robinson died by suicide in July 2020 after fleeing the base, while Aguilar face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted of conspiracy to tamper with evidence.

According to the criminal complaint, Robinson told Aguilar he killed Guillén by striking her in the head with a hammer on April 22. Aguilar then reportedly helped him dispose of the body, which she reportedly recognized as Guillén.

The gate dedication was announced in November and Guillén family members were involved in the designing process — and say they hope it will serve as a reminder of the sexual harassment they say she endured.

“They will remind themselves: that if they know somebody going through the same situation my sister went through, to speak up, to tell someone,” said Lupe Guillén, Vanessa’s sister.

Lupe says the gate dedication is a step in the right direction, but she’s pushing for Congress to pass the “I Am Vanessa Guillén Act.” It would require sexual assault and harassment investigations to be handled outside of the military chain of command.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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