Family to demand Congressional investigation into disappearance of Vanessa Guillen

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Family turns to Congress in search for missing Fort Hood soldier
"Due to the lack of answers, safety, respect, and responsibility in Fort Hood, we are demanding a Congressional Investigation to be done," her family wrote.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KTRK) -- The search continues for missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen, and the family is getting serious with a request to Congress.

An announcement was made Tuesday on Facebook that attorney Natalie Khawam will hold a press conference in Washington D.C. this Thursday, demanding a Congressional investigation to be done on her disappearance.

"Due to the lack of answers, safety, respect, and responsibility in Fort Hood, we are demanding a Congressional Investigation to be done," the post reads. "How can someone be sexually harassed on base, go missing on base and the family has not obtain answers in the last two months?"

Additionally, Khawam is expected to propose legislation to protect U.S. military members from sexual harassment and assault.

"Our soldiers deserve to be safe and respected while being on duty, those soldiers are putting their life for the United States yet the same army family fails to respect them mentally, physically or sexually," the post reads.

Any soldiers who have experienced abuse are encouraged to share their story with the hashtag #IamVanessaGuillen.

Guillen, who is from Houston, has been missing since April 22

Over the weekend, remains were found near Killeen. So far, there aren't many answers surrounding the discovery.

The remains were reportedly found within walking distance from where investigators found the body of private Gregory Wedel-Morales on June 19. He disappeared last year.

Guillen grew up in southeast Houston, graduated from Cesar Chavez High School, played soccer, and loves the Puerto Rican singer Bad Bunny.

After her disappearance Guillen's car, wallet, and keys were found on base, but her cell phone has not been recovered.

Khawam said she's discovered at least two alleged incidents of sexual harassment -- a superior walking in on Vanessa showering and another verbally assaulting Vanessa with vulgar remarks in Spanish. Khawam said she's worried about how this case might turn out. She said Vanessa told loved ones she didn't want to report the sexual harassment out of fear of retaliation.

"The facts aren't good. I don't like them," said Khawam. "There were a few incidents where she had told her colleagues, her friends, her family about being sexually harassed but she was afraid to report it. How does someone disappear on a base that has more protection and safeguards than anyone else on the planet?"

The Army's Criminal Investigation Command launched an investigation into allegations that Guillen was sexually harassed.

"I opened an investigation concerning the information provided by the Guillen Family that Pfc. Vanessa Guillen was harassed prior to her disappearance," said Commander of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment Col. Ralph Overland. "I take allegations of sexual harassment very seriously and we are conducting a thorough investigation."


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