Army Says 'No Credible Information' Vanessa Guillen Was Sexually Harassed Before Disappearance
The Army is disputing claims that missing soldier Vanessa Guillen was sexually harassed or assaulted before she vanished, saying that there is "no credible information" to that effect.
In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Fort Hood CID senior special agent Damon Phelps said that the Army is "aware" that the family believes that Guillen, 20, was sexually harassed, but said they have conducted an extensive investigation and found no evidence backing up the claims.
"There has been no information — and we have interviewed hundreds of people — there are no allegations that she had been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed," Phelps told reporters. "There is no credible information about that."
Guillen was a small arms repairer with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. She was last seen alive on April 22 when she was spotted in a parking lot at squadron headquarters in Fort Hood. Her car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she had been working earlier in the day.
On Tuesday, human remains were found near the Leon River in Bell County, Texas, and the family said Wednesday they believe the remains are Guillen's. In Thursday's press conference, authorities did not identify the remains.
Family members said Guillen had complained about being sexually harassed by her sergeant but had been afraid to report it. The Army opened up an investigation into the allegations in June.
In an interview with PEOPLE, attorney Natalie Khawam says she believes Guillen was sexually harassed by the suspect in the case, a soldier who killed himself as police closed in on him Wednesday. That soldier was publicly identified as Aaron D. Robinson in the press conference.
But special agent Phelps disputed that Robinson had harassed Guillen, saying "there is no credible information that SPC. Robinson sexually harassed SPC. Guillen."
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According to Khawam, the man followed Guillen into the shower and sat down. But Phelps said in the press conference the Army has found no evidence that the incident happened.
The press conference came a day after Guillen's sister Lupe said in a press conference that Ft. Hood personnel were not telling the truth about what happened. "They lied to our faces every single day ... which is more than two months," Lupe told reporters.
Authorities have also arrested another suspect who the U.S. Army identifies as "the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood Soldier." She is currently in custody in the Bell County Jail awaiting unspecified charges.
Authorities repeatedly refused to divulge her identity in response to reporters' questions during the press conference.