A suspect accused of assisting in hiding the body of murdered Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen appeared in court on Monday, amid increasing calls for an independent investigation into the disappearance of the solider who went missing more than two months ago.
What are the details?
Cecily Aguilar, 22, has been charged with conspiracy to tamper with evidence in connection with Guillen’s death.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Texas, “20-year-old U.S. Army Specialist Aaron Robinson told Aguilar that he killed a female soldier by striking her in the head with a hammer while on Ft. Hood on April 22, 2020,” and “subsequently, Robinson enlisted the help of Aguilar in disposing of the dead female’s body.”
Aguilar allegedly identified the deceased woman as Vanessa Guillen.
ABC News reported that Aguilar was Robinson’s girlfriend. She is cooperating with the FBI, and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Robinson killed himself last week when authorities closed in to question him about the disappearance of Guillen, who had been missing since late April.
Guillen’s family has called for a Congressional investigation into her death, claiming the Army has not been forthright in providing details since her disappearance from the base. The soldier’s loved ones also said Guillen had told them she was sexually harassed by a superior prior to her disappearance, and that she refused to report the alleged misconduct out of fear of retaliation.
Also on Monday, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) called for an independent investigation into Guillen’s disappearance and murder by the Department of Defense Inspector General’s Office.
“Spc. Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance should have been investigated as soon as she went missing,” Hurd said in a statement. “We need to ensure our military service members know there are procedures in place to protect them while on base if they experience any type of harassment while in service to our country.”