Authorities allege Vanessa Guillen was beaten to death with a hammer by a fellow soldier

By Steve Helling
July 06, 2020 10:37 AM
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Human remains recovered last Tuesday belong to missing Army private Vanessa Guillen, the family's attorney said on Sunday.

In an interview with CNN, attorney Natalie Khawam said that Guillen's body couldn't be immediately identified because her face had been beaten so badly. Her remains were sent to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to be identified.

Authorities allege that Guillen, 20, was bludgeoned to death with a hammer by a fellow soldier, Army Specialist Aaron Robinson, who died by suicide Wednesday as authorities closed in on him.

A criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE alleges the killing occurred in the armory room at Fort Hood, where Guillen worked, and where her identification, wallet and car keys were found in late April.

Vanessa Guillen
| Credit: Fort Hood US Army

The complaint alleges Robinson, 20, killed Guillen on April 22, the last day she was seen at Fort Hood.

The complaint names Cecily Aguilar, 22, as the second suspect facing charges in this case, and alleges she told investigators Robinson placed Guillen's body in a storage case after killing her.

Aguilar allegedly said Robinson took Guillen's body to a bridge near the Leon River, where the pair cut her body up and set it on fire. When the body didn't burn completely, the couple put the remains in three separate holes and covered them, the complaint alleges.

Aguilar has been charged with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence. She's being held at a jail in Bell County without bond. She has not yet entered a plea, and court records do not reflect an attorney authorized to speak on her behalf. She will make her first appearance in court on Monday.

Authorities have not disclosed a possible motive in the killing, but Khawam told CNN Sunday that Guillen had planned to file a sexual harassment complaint against Robinson the day after she was killed. The family believes that Guillen told Robinson about her plans, and he killed her in a fit of rage.

Cecily Aguilar, Aaron Robinson
| Credit: Belly County Sheriff's Office; Facebook

Guillen's family alleges that Guillen had previously complained about being sexually harassed by her sergeant but had been afraid to report it.

In a press conference on Thursday, the Army said there is no evidence Guillen was ever sexually harassed or assaulted on base.

Vanessa Guillen
| Credit: US Army

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But at a press conference Wednesday, Guillen's sister, Lupe, said the family's attempts to get answers surrounding Guillen's disappearance and allegations of harassment were met with repeated lies from Fort Hood personnel.

"They lied to our faces every single day ... which is more than two months," Lupe said.

As the family continues to search for answers, their attorney says that they grieve the loss of Guillen. In her interview with CNN, Kwaham said, "It's just been a sad morning and weekend for us."