FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - Murdered Fort Hood Spc. Vanessa Guillen died “in the line of duty,” an Army investigation has concluded.
The determination means Guillen’s family is entitled to a variety of Army benefits, including immediate help with expenses, life insurance proceeds and final pay and allowances, the Army said Tuesday.
“The III Corps leadership remains in contact with the Guillén family to keep them informed of the additional actions being taken at Fort Hood, and what policies are being revised to ensure Army culture continues to put people first and honors Vanessa’s life,” said the Army in a press release.
Guillen was last seen sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on April 22 in the parking lot of her 3rd Cavalry Regiment Engineer Squadron Headquarters. The keys to her car and her barracks room and her ID card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she had worked earlier in the day.
More than two months later, on June 30, contractors working on a fence along the Leon River discovered what appeared to be human remains.
Investigators searched the area and “identified scattered human remains that appeared to have been placed into a concrete-like substance and buried.” The remains were later confirmed to be Guillen’s.
A chilling federal affidavit released on July 2 says Spc. Aaron David Robinson, of Calumet City, Ill, beat Guillen with a hammer and that her body was later dismembered and burned.
Robinson shot himself in the head early in the morning on July 1 in the 4700 block of East Rancier Avenue as Killeen officers approached him. He died at the scene.
Cecily Anne Aguilar, 22, of Killeen, is accused of conspiring with Robinson, her boyfriend, to dismember and bury Guillen’s body. She was named in a three-count federal indictment, charging one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence and two counts of tampering with evidence.
Each count carries a potential maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The indictment alleges Aguilar helped “to corruptly alter, destroy, mutilate and conceal evidence, including the victim’s body in order to prevent Robinson from being charged with and prosecuted for any crime” and that she “tampered with evidence in this case, including the victim’s body, to impair its integrity and availability for use in an official proceeding,” said the U.S. Attorney’s Office in a press release.
She remains in custody after pleading not guilty to the charges.