New investigation is underway in case of Vanessa Guillen, family says

KTRK logo
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
New investigation underway in Vanessa Guillen case, family says
What was the reason behind the visit? Eyewitness News spoke with Vanessa Guillen's mother and sister about what went on during the two-hour visit. Hit play to learn more.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A four-star general along with other Army officials stopped by the home of Vanessa Guillen's family on Tuesday to speak with them as part of the ongoing investigation into her death.

The Army released a statement saying that Gen. John Murray, senior investigator into command actions at Fort Hood related to Guillen, met with her family.

According to the family, Army officials gathered statements from Guillen's mother, Gloria, about her daughter's claims that she was sexually harassed on base.

Guillen was killed at Fort Hood after she went missing in April.

She was bludgeoned to death by Spc. Aaron Robinson, who killed himself on July 1 as police were trying to take him into custody.

Guillen's family has said Robinson had sexually harassed her, but the Army has said there is no evidence supporting the claim.

"They're still looking for the real reason why Vanessa was murdered," said Vanessa's sister, Lupe Guillen. "The only thing we're looking for is real answers, real justice."

WATCH: Vanessa Guillen's sister says Army visit wasn't enough

What did the family think of the visit? Hit play to hear more from Vanessa Guillen's sister and mother.

When asked if the Army officials relayed any new information during their two-hour visit, Vanessa's mother said they told her there is a new investigation underway, though details can't be disclosed.

She said they plan on releasing information at the end of November.

Here is the Army's full statement:

Gen. John Murray, senior investigator into command actions at Fort Hood related to Spc. Vanessa Guillen, met with Spc. Guillen's family members Oct. 27, 2020, in Houston, Texas, to provide an update on the ongoing investigation and include an opportunity for the family to provide additional information to the investigators.

Gen. Murray, commanding general of Army Futures Command, is conducting an Army Regulation 15-6 investigation into chain of command actions related to Spc. Vanessa Guillen's death. Gen. Michael X. Garrett, commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., appointed Gen. Murray on Sep. 1 to lead the investigation.

The 15-6 investigation incorporates information from a number of previous investigations, inspections and ongoing reviews - including the ongoing criminal investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command; an Army Regulation 15-6 by the 3rd Cavalry Regiment; and the U.S. Army Forces Command Inspector General inspection of the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program at Fort Hood.

"What happened to Spc. Guillen was horrible. We must honor her memory by doing better," said Gen. Garrett. "This investigation will allow us to better understand what happened. Importantly, it will also give us insight on what we can do to ensure something like this doesn't happen again."

Army officials remain in close contact with the Guillen family to keep them informed of additional actions being taken to honor Vanessa's life and renewed focus on a "people first" culture. More details about the Army Regulation 15-6 investigation will be released publicly once the final report is complete.

Forces Command is the Army major command within the United States that includes III Corps. Based at Fort Bragg, N.C., FORSCOM trains and prepares a combat ready, globally responsive Total Force to build and sustain readiness to meet Combatant Command global requirements.

Earlier this month, the Army announced Vanessa's family is now entitled to her full military benefits after an investigation concluded that her death was "in the line of duty."

"This determination establishes that the Guillen family is entitled to a variety of Army benefits for Vanessa's service to our nation," said the Army at the time.

Typically, these benefits include money to help the family with expenses, the service member's Group Life Insurance along with final pay and allowances.

The Army conducts a line of duty determination for all soldier deaths.

Meanwhile, a bill in honor of Guillen is being deliberated in Washington, D.C.

If passed, the #IAmVanessaGuillen bill would allow active duty members to file sexual harassment and assault claims to a third party.

RELATED: Nancy Pelosi agrees to bring #IAmVanessaGuillen act to House floor

Vanessa Guillen's legacy enters Capitol Hill in the form of a bipartisan bill aimed at reforming sexual assault in the military. The video breaks down what has gone into getting to this point.


What led to 28 soldiers' deaths from 1 Army base? Congress wants to know

Congress is stepping in and investigating the disappearances and deaths of soldiers at Fort Hood. Watch the video above for more details on the cases involved.

Timeline offers look at tragedy and legacy of Ft. Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: How has the military handled Vanessa Guillen's case? What does her family know about the suspects in her disappearance? Hit play to hear their answers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.