Family: Human remains found in Texas are missing soldier
KILLEEN, Texas (AP) — The family of a soldier who has been missing since April believes partial remains that were found in Central Texas are her remains, the lawyer for her family said Wednesday, and the Army said it has identified two suspects in her disappearance.
Pfc. Vanessa Guillen was last seen April 22 in a parking lot at Fort Hood, where she was based. The 20-year-old soldier’s car keys, barracks room key, ID card and wallet were found in the room where she was working the day she disappeared.
The U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Command has yet to officially identify the remains, which were found Tuesday near the Leon River in Bell County, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Fort Hood.
But Natalie Khawam, the Guillen family’s lawyer, said evidence connects the remains to the missing soldier. She didn’t specify the evidence.
“We lost a life, a beautiful young soldier,” Khawam said during a news conference.
The Army said in a news release that one of the suspects was another Fort Hood soldier who died by suicide on Wednesday. The Texas Rangers have arrested the second suspect, who is a civilian, it said.
Officers tried to make contact with the soldier who was considered a suspect around 1:30 a.m. in Killeen, but he shot himself and died, police said.
The Army said the civilian suspect is the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood soldier. She is being held in the Bell County Jail, with charges pending.
Authorities have not released the suspects’ names.
The family says they believe Guillen was sexually harassed by the military suspect and is calling for a congressional investigation, Khawam said.
Guillen’s sisters said at the news conference that they believe the Army is covering up details of her disappearance, and Khawam said the military was withholding information.
The Associated Press left a phone message Wednesday seeking comment from an Army representative.
The Army Criminal Investigation Command and the League of United Latin American Citizens offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to Guillen’s whereabouts.
This story has been corrected throughout to show the lawyer’s name is Natalie Khawam, not Kahwam.