EXCLUSIVE Reward increased to $50K
By Allan Jamail
Houston, Tx. – June 15, 2020 — North Channel Star photo journalist Allan Jamail interviewed Mayra Guillen, the missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen’s sister, to obtain this story.
Mayra said, “My sister loved the army. She dreamed about wanting to serve the country. She joined right after graduating from Houston’s César E. Chavez High School at age 18. She graduated in the top 15% of her high school class. In school she was athletic; she liked sports jogging and soccer. At the base she loved to jog and exercise in the gym.”
“Upon joining the army first she was sent to South Carolina for boot camp, and then Virginia for training, before lastly being station at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. She lived on the base because from our Houston home to the base, it’s a three hour drive.”
“She enjoyed Fort Hood until recently, but then something changed. Shortly before her disappearance she began acting unusual and had trouble sleeping. This never happened before. She finally told our mother (Gloria) she was being sexually harassed by one of her sergeants. Mother tried to convince her to give her the name of the harassing sergeant, but she didn’t want to get mother involved or in trouble. She also said he would follow her whenever she would go jogging or to exercise and how uncomfortable he made her feel. She said she knew of other female soldiers who had reported sexual harassment and the Army didn’t believe them. She felt she could put a stop to it herself. She was ready to take care of his harassment near the time of her disappearance.”
“From the bottom of my heart, I strongly believe my sister is alive. I believe whoever is keeping her hostage is doing it for a reason, because they know that at this point if we find her deceased, it’s going to be much worse, I just hope they’re keeping her okay,” Mayra concluded.
Vanessa’s mother Gloria said, “My nights are long with agony and sadness to think my daughter is suffering so much and being kept away from her family.”
She wants the case to be led by the FBI. The Army Criminal Investigation Command now leads the investigation.
Juan Cruz, Vanessa’s boyfriend, had text message exchanges with her the morning of her disappearance where she told him she was leaving the barracks and heading to the armory building, where she would be working all day. Juan, upon learning of her mysterious disappearance, pleaded in his own message on Facebook, “Please help me find my girlfriend.”
On Tuesday, June 16th Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia hosted a virtual press conference with the family of Vanessa. They were joined by Domingo Garcia, the National President of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). He announced LULAC will provide a $25,000 reward to go along with the Army’s $25,000 making the total $50,000 for credible information leading to the whereabouts of Vanessa.
At the conference Garcia told the family she’s meeting with the base Commander next week to try to find out as much as possible about the investigation. She’s currently in self-quarantine until June the 23rd because of the COVID19 virus. “I want the FBI more involved. My team and I have been working with the Guillen family and will continue to. #FindVanessa, #TX29Constituent,” Garcia said.
State Senator Carol Alvarado issued the following statement, “It’s been nearly 2 months since #VanessaGuillen has been seen. My team is committed to the movement to #FindVanessa.”
State Representative Christina Morales said, “It has been almost two months since Vanessa Guillen went missing. It is sad that an intelligent and promising young Latina has gone missing, and we must do everything we can to find her. Our community, and communities across Texas, are coming together to find Vanessa and bring her home. I cannot begin to imagine the pain the Guillen family is going through and send my prayers and support to them.” Vanessa is a constituent of Garcia, Alvarado and Morales.
State Representative Ana Hernandez said, “As a mother, my heart goes out to Vanessa Guillen’s family and loved ones. We have shared information of her disappearance on our social media and it is our hope that by sharing details of her disappearance and amplifying the search, it will lead to her safe return soon.”
U.S. ARMY CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION COMMAND UPDATED REPORT:
At the time of this story the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command issued the following update of information about their investigation and increased the reward from $15,000 to $25,000.
READ REPORT BELOW
Chris Grey, spokesman for Army CID said, “We know somebody out there has some very critical information pertaining to this investigation and we strongly encourage you to do the right thing and come forward. Do it for Vanessa and do it for her family, friends and fellow soldiers. We’ve increased our reward of up to $25,000 for credible information leading to the whereabouts of missing Fort Hood Soldier, Pfc. Vanessa Guillen.
The 20-year-old Vanessa Guillen was last seen April 22 between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. wearing a black t-shirt and purple fitness-type pants in the parking lot of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters. Her car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she was working earlier in the day, her cell phone is still missing.
At this point, investigators have no credible information or report that Vanessa Guillen was sexually assaulted.
“We are completely committed to finding Vanessa and aggressively going after every single piece of credible information and every lead in this investigation. We will not stop until we find Vanessa.
Persons with information can contact Army CID Special Agents at 254-287- 2722 or the Military Police Desk at 254-288-1170. They can also anonymously submit information at https://www.cid.army.mil/ report-a-crime.html. People wishing to remain anonymous will be honored to the degree allowable under the law and the information will be held in the strictest confidence allowable. #FortHood, #USArmy, #FindVanessa, #FindVanessaGuillen and #Doit4Vanessa.
GO FUND ME SITE – – to help the family with expenses of flyers, posters and other search items please use the following: https://www.gofundme.com/f/pfc-vanessa-guillen-missing