Army investigators believe a Texas soldier missing since April was killed by another soldier on the Texas base where they served, the attorney for the missing soldier's family said Thursday.
Lawyer Natalie Khawam said the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Division told her that the other soldier bludgeoned 20-year-old soldier Vanessa Guillen with a hammer at Fort Hood and later dismembered her and buried the remains in the woods.
The Army said Wednesday that a soldier who was suspected in Guillen’s disappearance had killed himself. The Army also said a civilian suspect had been arrested.
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On Thursday, the Army identified the soldier suspected in Guillen’s disappearance as Aaron David Robinson, of Calumet City, Illinois. The civilian suspect was not named.
Khawam said she met with investigators from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Division on Wednesday evening and was told the other soldier cleaned up the area where Guillen was killed, placed her body in a container and wheeled her out to his car.
Later that afternoon, Khawam said, the soldier drove to pick up a woman and took the body to a nearby river. There, Khawam said, the pair tried to burn Guillen's body, but later dismembered it with a machete. Then, they put cement on the body and buried the remains.
Tim Miller, of Texas Equusearch, who was assisting in the search for Guillen, told KHOU Thursday that investigators found a lid last week that belonged to a container consistent with one a witness saw loaded into a car at 8:30 the night Guillen disappeared.
Investigators were called back to the scene this week when a man working in the area reported a foul odor. Miller said it appeared the suspect “buried her, put lime on her, mixed up concrete, put that over her, put dirt over her, rocks and stuff.”
Guillen was last seen April 22 in a parking lot at Fort Hood. She was set to be promoted to specialist this month. Her car keys, barracks room key, ID card and wallet were found in the room where she was working the day she disappeared.
Acacia Coronado is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.