Human remains are found in search for missing US soldier
A group of 30 volunteers have discovered human remains and items they believe could be linked to missing U.S. Army soldier Vanessa Guillen, close to the site where the body of a man was found.
The discovery comes two months after the 20-year-old woman was last seen at the Fort Hood Army Base in Kileen, Texas, on April 22.
Volunteer group Texas EquuSearch has been participating in efforts to search for Guillen. It canvassed areas in Bell County on Saturday before concluding its search mission for the day in Coryell County.
According to KWTX, the volunteers came across the remains in an undisclosed area in Coryell County, not too far from the site where the remains of missing soldier Gregory Wedel-Morales were found on June 19. He went missing in August 2019.
Tim Miller, the founder of Texas Equusearch, said: ‘We know it’s a process of elimination so we know where she’s not and we keep moving forward so we can hopefully look forward to the day we can say we know where she is.’
Vanessa Guillen, 20, was reported missing from Fort Hood on April 22 shortly after she told her family she was being sexually harassed and felt unsafe. She was last seen in the parking lot of her regimental engineer squadron headquarters at the Killeen, Texas, base around 1pm
Texas Equusearch said it found personal items that could be linked to missing U.S. Army soldier Vanessa Guillen. During a search Saturday, a team of 30 searchers came across human remains, which are being examined
The volunteers came across the remains in an undisclosed area in Coryell County, not too far from the site where the remains of missing soldier Gregory Wedel-Morales were found on June 19
Troopers from Thunder Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, look over a map during search efforts for Guillén
The remains discovered by the volunteers have been secured by homicide investigators and transferred to the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas to be analyzed.
Some of the personal items that were located in a river, according to Miller, who refused to reveal exactly what they found.
Natalie Khawan, a lawyer representing the family, told Univision Noticias that they asked the military to review surveillance cameras at the base in hopes that there could be key information that would lead to Guillen’s whereabouts, but they were told that there were no security cameras installed at the site.
Khawan also said that they have appealed to authorities to secure cellphones that may have received messages from Guillen in the moments leading up to her disappearance.
The attorney said that a message that was sent from Guillen’s phone include the serial number of a weapon.
Khawan found the content of the message to be highly suspicious, and suggested that perhaps someone else might have sent the text with Guillen’s mobile device.
‘The serial number of a firearm was sent from Vanessa’s cell phone. This text message is very unusual for us because it is not something that is normally sent between the soldiers of the base,’ Khawan said.
‘So we think that there is a possibility that someone else had sent the message, but the military authorities do not want to tell us the recipient of it.’
The Houston native, who is Latina, was last seen in the parking lot of her regimental engineer squadron headquarters at the Killeen base.
Guillen’s car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she was working earlier in the day.
She was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, light purple leggings and black Nike sneakers.
She had accused an unnamed sergeant of sexually harassing her and claimed she felt unsafe before she disappeared, her family says.
Soldiers from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment conduct ongoing searches of the training area at Fort Hood, Texas, for Guillen on June 18
Actress Salma Hayek has pledged to post pictures of missing soldier Private First Class Vanessa Guillen, 20, on her Instagram page until she is found
Giullen’s attorney Natalie Khawam told ABC13 said her client once claimed that a superior walked in on her showering and another verbally assaulted her with vulgar remarks in Spanish.
But Guillen didn’t report the harassment because she was afraid of retaliation, said Natalie Khawam, the family’s attorney.
Two weeks ago, the Fort Hood Army base launched an investigation into Guillen’s allegations that a sergeant sexually harassed her.
A reward of $55,000 is being offered for information in her disappearance.
Actress Salma Hayek shared a post on Instagram vowing to share a picture of Guillen every day until she is found.
US Rep Sylvia Garcia said last Tuesday that US Army investigators are suspecting foul play in Guillen’s disappearance.
‘We don’t want just attention. We want action. We want answers,’ said Garcia, a Democrat representing Texas’ 29th congressional district. ‘We’ve got to remember that this is a family that is hurting.’
The US Army Criminal Investigation Command and the League of United Latin American Citizens is each contributing $25,000 to fund the reward.
The body of Pvt. Gregory Scott Morales, 24, of Oklahoma, was found on Friday in a field near the 3200 block of Florence Road near Killeen, Texas after officials at the nearby Fort Hood base received a tip. He had disappeared from the base last August
Morales, who was also known as Gregory Wedel, was last seen on August 19, 2019, driving his personal vehicle outside of Fort Hood. He was to be discharged within days after his disappearance, the Army said
Both Morales and Guillen were stationed at the Fort Hood Army Base in Killeen, Texas
Morales, who was also known as Gregory Wedel, was last seen on August 19, 2019, driving his personal vehicle outside of Fort Hood.
He was to be discharged within days after his disappearance, the Army said.
Morales joined the Army in June 2015 as a motor transport operator and had been assigned to the 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood since November 2016, according to the Army.
A $25,000 reward is being offered for information about his death.
‘The First Team is saddened by the news of the passing of PV2 Gregory Morales. His life was taken too soon, and we appreciate his service to our nation,’ Maj Gen Jeffery Broadwater, commander, 1st Cavalry Division.