Vanessa Guillen’s sister says ‘we still don’t know the truth’ about her death
Months after the remains of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen were found in Texas, her family says there are still many things they don’t know about her killing.
The latest episode of “Red Table Talk: The Estefans” features Guillen’s mother and sisters in conversation with Grammy-winning music legend Gloria Estefan, her daughter and fellow musician Emily Estefan and niece and Daytime Emmy Award-winning Lili Estefan.
“We still don’t even know the truth, why would they do this to an innocent person? … killed her and after she’s killed, just do all that stuff to her (that) I can’t even say,” Guillen’s sister, Lupe Guillen, told the Estefans.
“Why? That’s my question every single day, why? Why? Why her? And I ask to God: ‘¿Por qué ella? ¿Por qué de todos los que existimos, por qué le hicieron eso a ella?’ (Why her? Out of everyone in existence, why did they do that to her?),” she added.
Vanessa Guillen‘s disappearance and death sparked outrage and grief among women in the military and Latinos across the country over the summer. Her family quickly pushed for an investigation after she went missing in April and continues calling for changes in the military involving sexual harassment.
Guillen’s mom told Gloria Estefan how she started noticing her daughter’s weight loss and mental state decline months before she went missing. When she confronted Guillen, she described a culture of sexual harassment at the military base.
“Acosan a las muchachas y no dicen nada por miedo (They harass girls and they don’t speak up out of fear),” said Gloria Guillen, recalling a conversation with her daughter.
Guillen, 20, was last seen in the parking lot of her barracks at Fort Hood on April 22, according to the US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID). Her remains were found June 30, according to her family’s attorney, Natalie Khawam.
She was bludgeoned to death with a hammer in the armory room where she worked. Her body was transported from the military installation by her killer, Khawam said, citing details the family learned during a meeting with Army investigators.
The main suspect in Guillen’s disappearance, another Fort Hood soldier, Spc. Aaron Robinson, killed himself in July, when he was confronted by police in Killeen, Texas. Texas Rangers arrested another civilian suspect in connection with the case, according to CID.
Khawam has previously said the family told her that Guillen was planning to file a harassment complaint against Robinson.
Last month, a group of US House lawmakers introduced the “I am Vanessa Guillen Act,” a bipartisan bill that would make sexual harassment a crime within the Uniform Code of Military Justice and move prosecution decisions of sexual assault and harassment cases out of the military chain of command.