Family of Murdered Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen Accuses the Army of a Cover-Up and Demand a Congressional Investigation
Military families deserve better than what the Guillen family had to endure and a Congressional investigation into Fort Hood’s response to Guillen’s disappearance and murder is warranted.
(Code Pink) Fort Hood, Texas is a dangerous place for women in the military. The murder of Army Specialist (SPC) Vanessa Guillen is the latest tragic evidence of the violence on Fort Hood and other U.S. military bases.
Violence against women in the military and at Fort Hood has been going on for a very long time. Twelve years ago, in 2008, I wrote an article “Is There an Army Cover-Up of Rape and Murder of Women Soldiers?” that detailed violence against women assigned to units from Fort Hood that were then located in Iraq. 8 women soldiers from Fort Hood, six from the Fourth Infantry Division and two from the 1st Armored Cavalry Division, had died of “non-combat related injuries” at Camp Taji, Iraq. Two had been raped immediately before their deaths and another raped prior to arriving in Iraq. Two women For Fort Hood had died of suspicious “non-combat related injuries” on Balad base, Iraq, and one was raped before she died. Four deaths of women assigned to units from Fort Hood had been classified as “suicides,” and families of some of those women disagreed with Fort Hood’s findings.
Now, twelve years later, the Army’s handling of the investigation into SPC Guillen’s disappearance was an affront to Guillen’s family and to military women on Fort Hood. For three months the perpetrator of the murder of SPC Guillen roamed free on Fort Hood, capable of murdering other young women and showing such impunity that according to SPC Guillen’s sister Mayra who had met him during one of her visits to Fort Hood, that “he laughed in my face. I had a very uneasy feeling about him.”
She should have felt uneasy as she was face-to-face to her sister’s brazen murderer who had killed her sister with a hammer in his workplace, dismembered her, attempted to burn her body before burying body parts in three holes covered with concrete on a highway embankment thirty miles from Fort Hood.
SPC Guillen’s family was relentless in attempting to get information from Fort Hood leadership about what happened to her but to no avail. They held press conferences, enlisted the aid of organizations that offered a reward for information that would assist in finding SPC Guillen, called on the Texas congressional delegation for help but the Army was not forthcoming with information that led them to believe that a meaningful investigation into her disappearance was happening.
It wasn’t until ten weeks, after an intervention by U.S. Congresswoman Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Tex.) and numerous emotional press conferences by the family, that the family’s lawyer Natalie Khawam finally was briefed by phone for four hours on July 1 by Fort Hood’s Criminal Investigative Division (CID) and told that Guillen’s blood had been found in a neighboring unit’s weapons armory where she had gone on a day off to deliver paperwork on a weapon to a person who should have been an immediate “person of interest” in her disappearance.
Since April 22, when Vanessa Guillen was last seen alive, her disappearance and lack of information from Fort Hood to the family have led to questions of a cover-up. The family suspected that foul play was involved but was getting no information from CID as providing the family with any information about the progress of the investigation would “compromise the integrity of the investigation.” Her disappearance and lack of information about the Army’s investigation resulted in statements from other female soldiers who have gone public with their experiences of sexual harassment and assault in the military and many hashtags on social media to remind the public that Vanessa was missing and the family was getting no information from Fort Hood leadership.
Guillen’s family had been telling Fort Hood authorities and the public that Vanessa had been the target of sexual harassment prior to her disappearance. She told her mother, her friends, and some fellow service members about the harassment. The family’s lawyer Natalie Khawan said Guillen, fearing retaliation, never filed a formal complaint on base.
Ms. Khawam alleged July 1 that the dead suspect was the same man who harassed Guillen. Khawan gave details that Robinson watched her take a shower in a locker room. “She was taking a shower and he walked in on her and sat down. She was creeped out — as one would be.”
Khawam explained during an interview on Democracy Now on July 2, “The person that was harassing her, this Aaron Robinson, this was her sergeant (Note-Robinson was not a sergeant, nor in her chain of command. He was a specialist in a different unit and worked in a comparable position in his unit’s weapons room.) And he had — she was taking a shower one time, and she was in the women’s locker room, and he walked in and sat down and watched her while she was showering. She saw him, and she said, “Please leave. This makes me very uncomfortable.”
Khawam also said, “She didn’t know how to report the incident to military authorities. She told her family and told her friends and other soldiers on base. When they asked, “Why don’t you report it to your commander or sergeants?,” she just said that it wouldn’t work. She was afraid to report it, because she was afraid to lose her job. They would demote her. And she knew of other instances where they did not take those reports seriously, and that would make her life more difficult on the base.”
The family believes there are others involved in Vanessa’s disappearance and murder and they are demanding a Congressional investigation into how the case was handled from the beginning. The family’s lawyer accused the Army of “lying, being disingenuous” in its treatment of Guillen’s family about the disappearance and murder of Guillen. “They lied to us from day one.
Vanessa’s family has accused the Army of a cover-up in her disappearance and they want a Congressional investigation and legislation to change Army policies.
Vanessa’s family drove from Houston to Washington, DC to participate in a press conference on July 1, 2020, with their attorney Khawam and U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who is a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves. Family members and attorney Khawan stated during the press conference that the Army had been telling the families “lies.”
The attention from the press conference forced the Fort Hood command to respond with a four-hour briefing to Guillen’s family attorney, Natalie Khawan, a briefing that should have happened weeks before.
GUILLEN’S BODY FOUND AND SUSPECT IN HER MURDER COMMITS SUICIDE
Other events began unfolding rapidly on June 30 and July 1 that caused the Army to have to give details of the investigation to the family. First, about 1:00 pm on June 30, 2020, CID was notified that contractors working on a fence adjacent to the Leon River in Belton, TX, discovered what appeared to be human remains. USACID, along with the FBI, US Marshals Service, County Sheriff’s Office, and Texas Rangers searched the area and identified scattered human remains that appeared to have been placed into a concrete-like substance and buried.
Secondly, about 8:30 pm on 30 June 2020, over three months and one week after Guillen’s disappearance, SPC Robinson’s girlfriend Cecily Aguilar was interviewed again and admitted that SPC Robinson told her that on April 22, 2020, he struck a female soldier in the head with a hammer multiple times at his arms room, killing her on Fort Hood. SPC Robinson then placed her in a box and moved the box to a location near the Leon River in Belton, Texas. Aguilar who had been interviewed earlier by CID finally been convinced by CID to talk by phone to Robinson in which they recorded his comments about killing Guillen, dismembering, and burying her body.
Thirdly, On the evening of June 30, Aguilar assisted law enforcement in locating SPC Robinson who was on foot in Killeen, Texas after he left his barracks. SPC Robinson was approached by law enforcement at 1.17 am on July 1, 2020. Law enforcement officials said he shot himself in the head with a pistol, killing himself.
The next day, on July 1, the discovery of human remains along a highway 30 miles from Fort Hood on June 30 and the suicide in the early morning hours of July 1 of SPC Robinson, left the Army with no choices but to reveal what they had learned over the three-month investigation but had refused to tell the family.
“We believe that her remains were found. We believe that the suspect killed himself in the morning. And that, unfortunately, doesn’t provide us any information about how this happened [or] why a beautiful young soldier is not with us today,” Natalie Khawam, attorney for the Guillen family, said July 1 during a news conference in Washington, D.C. Later in the day on July 1, Khawam was finally briefed by Army investigators, who disclosed that SPC Guillen was attacked by Robinson.
Robinson had used a hammer to attack Guillen, causing “her blood to be splashed all over the armory room,” Khawam said she was told by Army officials. “Robinson enlisted his girlfriend, who was married to someone else, to assist in burying Guillen’s remains that they had dismembered with a machete after they attempted to burn her body.”
At the July 1 press conference in Washington, D.C., Lupe Guillen, sister of Vanessa Guillen asked, “How can this happen on a military base? How can this happen while she’s on duty?”. “How can they let this happen and then just let it go under the rug like it was nothing?”
“My sister did not deserve to suffer. My sister did not deserve this. My family did not deserve this,” Vanessa’s sister Lupe accused the Army of a cover-up. “If those criminals are still out there, take my word that we will not rest, we will not stop and we will keep fighting until you are behind bars because you’re a disgrace to humanity.”
Attorney Khawam stated that the Guillen family was calling for a congressional probe into the U.S. military’s response to her disappearance. “This should never have happened, and we will never know what happened — ever — until we get a congressional investigation,” Khawam told reporters. And she called the official response “evasive,” adding: “I don’t know who’s covering up for who, but it doesn’t matter. We lost a beautiful young soldier, and it’s time we fix our system.”
ARMY CID HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE BUT MAINTAINS NO EVIDENCE OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF GUILLEN AS A POSSIBLE MOTIVE FOR HER MURDER
On July 2, the Army finally released details of their three-month investigation of Guillen’s disappearance. According to Fort Hood’s CID agents, by the time Robinson killed himself, CID had talked to at least 300 persons on Fort Hood. Yet CID had given no indication to the family that they were dealing with anything but a disappearance. CID agents said that there was not yet credible evidence that she was sexually harassed, despite Guillen having told her family and friends at Fort Hood that she had been. From the social media posts from women who had been sexually harassed and assaulted at Fort Hood and other military bases, one suspicions that some of Vanessa’s friends at Fort Hood have told CID that she told them about the harassment.
Speakers at July 2 Fort Hood press conference said that the investigation into her disappearance is ongoing and there has not been a connection made between the sexual assault allegations and Guillen’s disappearance. They said specifically that there was no evidence Robinson sexually harassed Guillen and there has been no information that Guillen was sexually assaulted or harassed. They acknowledge there were no video cameras, and therefore no footage, at the location where Robinson murdered Guillen. They made no comments about the possibility that Robinson killed Guillen to keep her from reporting his harassment of her. CID did not state they had asked Robinson’s girlfriend Aguilar if Robinson told her why he murdered Guillen.
I am including at the end of this article, the narrative is taken from the six-page Criminal Complaint filed on July 2, 2020, at United States District Court Western District of Texas, Waco Division, Case 6:20-mj-00141-JCM. From the criminal complaint, one can determine that the investigation was conducted at a slow pace over three months, an inquiry that should have been conducted at much more quickly to determine what had happened to Guillen.
The Guillen family had been demanding information from the Fort Hood chain of command about their daughter’s disappearance and were stonewalled for three months. With the intervention of Congresswoman Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Tex.) in mid-June and the family going to Washington, DC on July 1 to enlist the aid of other Congresspersons including Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), as highway crew reported finding human remains along a highway, finally the Army was pressured into revealing what they had uncovered during the three months since Guillen’s disappearance.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INVESTIGATIVE PROCESS OF FORT HOOD’S CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE DIVISION
There are many questions about the investigative process that Fort Hood’s Criminal Investigative Division (CID) must answer to the give SPC Guillen’s family, the Fort Hood community, and the public any confidence in its work. Among the many questions are:
- Why did it take CID until April 29, one week after SPC Guillen’s disappearance on April 22 to interview SPC Aaron Robinson, the last person to see SPC Guillen?
- Why was the phone of SPC Robinson not seized quickly and checked for his location on the evening of her disappearance, since he was the last person to see her?
- Why did it take CID one month, until May 19, 2020, to search Robinson’s cell phone?
- Why did CID not follow up on May 19, 2020, on the GPS location of Robinson’s cellphone on the night of April 22, 2020, which would have provided details of where he had gone the night of Guillen’s disappearance?
- Why was the first interview of Robinson’s girlfriend Cecily Aguilar and who helped dismember, burn and bury Guillen not until when Robinson’s phone record revealed that he had called Aguilar multiple times during the night of SPC Guillen’s disappearance on April 22, 2020, and as late as 03:3Oam on April 23, 2020?
- Why wasn’t the family’s description of Robinson as the person who walked into a women’s locker room and watched Guillen take a shower given credence as an incident of sexual harassment that he might take retaliatory action against her if she made a formal complaint?
- Why was the primary “person of interest” SPC Robinson allowed to remain free on the base for almost three months in which time he could have murdered others?
- Why was the primary “person of interest” SPC Robinson confined to his barracks only late in the investigation (the criminal complaint did not state when Robinson was confined to the barracks) and then on June 30, as he had no supervision, he was able to depart the base and kill himself?
- Has CID asked Robinson’s girlfriend Aguilar if Robinson told her why he felt he had to murder Guillen?
- Why was the family not accorded the courtesy of updates from the Army on the investigation?
- Did the fact that it was a young Latina woman who had disappeared that resulted in the slowness of the investigation?
- What is the status of the investigation into the August 19, 2019 disappearance and death of another Fort Hood soldier Private Gregory Morales, whose remains were found on June 22, 2020, through an anonymous tip ironically just days before Guillen’s remains were found? Morales was to have been discharged from the Army within days of his disappearance.
INVESTIGATION OF FORT HOOD’S SEXUAL HARASSMENT/ASSAULT RESPONSE AND PREVENTION PROGRAM DUE TO SPC GUILLEN’S FAMILY’S STRONG PUBLIC ADVOCACY
SPC Guillen’s family strong and vocal advocacy for the investigation of sexual harassment as a part of her disappearance, finally, three months later, the Army sent on June 30 a seven-member inspector general team from the U.S. Army Forces Command to Fort Hood at the request of III Corps officials to determine if the Fort Hood’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program, or SHARP, was working effectively and properly offering support to soldiers.
Ironically the team arrived at Fort Hood on the day that SPC Guillen’s remains were found, the day that Robinson committed suicide and Robinson’s girlfriend Cecily Aguilar was arrested for her complicity in the dismemberment, burning and burying of Guillen’s body.
The team inspector general group stayed at Fort Hood from June 30 until July 3 and reportedly focused on “how the SHARP program is being implemented on the base; investigating whether the base command climate supports soldiers who report sexual harassment or assault; and identifying any systemic issues with the program, or any places where resources are inadequate.” The team was to brief the Fort Hood command before it departed on July 3, but the results of the investigation have not been released to the public.
Remarkably, in its press conference on July 2, Fort Hood CID agents still maintained at that there was no credible evidence or reports that Robinson or any other person sexually harassed or sexually assaulted Guillen. The CID agent asked that if any person had information to the contrary to contact them, in one way diminishing the value of the family’s plea from the beginning to have sexual harassment investigated as a cause of her disappearance.
The Defense Department’s fiscal year 2019 report on sexual assault in the military that was released on April 30, 2020, revealed that in fiscal year 2019 were 7,825 sexual assault reports involving service members as victims or subjects, a 3% increase compared to 2018. The military received 1,021 formal sexual harassment complaints, a 10% increase from 2018.
Very relevant to Fort Hood and SPC Guillen’s disappearance and murder, the 2019 report focused “unit climate” and underscored that most military sexual assaults happen between service members who work or live nearby, and “when unit climates are tolerant of other forms of misconduct, risk of sexual assault increases.” For active duty women, those who experience sexual harassment had a three times greater risk of sexual assault than those who did not, according to the report. (Author put this sentence from the report in bold.)
The 2019 report reflects feedback from 61 focus groups at eight installations in the United States with over 490 service members and first responders who work with survivors. On unit climate, focus group participants said that service members find it hard to fully define sexual harassment and that male and female service members define it differently. Participants said that when it occurs, it is not always confronted or addressed, and service members believed that was because people don’t want to jeopardize the career of a high-ranking, or better performing service member or their own career.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AT FORT HOOD – SEX TRAFFICKING, PROSTITUTION AND PIMPING
Guillen’s family attorney Khawam was alarmed about the violence on Fort Hood. “I don’t know what to say other than that base needs to be looked into. They need a congressional investigation. This young woman, who signed up to serve our country, should not have gone missing. You can’t tell me that there are no cameras, that we couldn’t see what had happened, how he murdered her because there are no cameras. Unacceptable…. They found Gregory Morales, who was another soldier that went missing last year.
“Within the last couple of years, there have been several incidences of soldiers killed on the base, missing on the base. There is major human trafficking going on at that base. There is a ring of sex prostitution rings…I learned so much about Fort Hood, and people contacting me and giving me hints, information, examples, videos, and saying, “I want you to see what goes on on this base.” It’s devastating. It’s devastating to know that our soldiers are on that base and they’re so unsafe.”
In March 2020, fourteen people were arrested after a two-day sex trafficking, pimp, and prostitution sting in Temple, Texas. Six of the 12 traffickers are active-duty enlisted soldiers at Fort Hood, according to the Temple Police Department.
In September 2017 thirteen active-duty soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, were arrested after law enforcement conducted a 16-hour prostitution sting. Twenty men were arrested in all, and the 13 soldiers ranged in rank from private to major. “Our goal is to focus our efforts on sex buyers who are seeking to take advantage of sex trafficking victims,” a member of the Bell County Sheriff’s office said. “We are putting these predators on notice that our Bell County community will not tolerate their behavior.”
In June 2014, one of Fort Hood’s sexual assault prevention officer became part of the sexual assault problem. Fort Hood unit sexual assault prevention officer Sergeant First Class Gregory McQueen was accused by a woman soldier of 21 criminal charges that included pandering, adultery, sexual assault and recruiting cash-strapped female soldiers. Three years later, in April 2017, McQueen, 39, was convicted 0f 15 of 21 charges and was demoted, sentenced to two years in prison and given a dishonorable discharge. With McQueen’s plea deal, he managed to avoid six other charges, including sexual assault that could have sent him to military prison for 40 years.
In the article “Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates,” the authors list 145 soldiers assigned to Fort Hood who have died in four years since January 2016. 12 died in Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea. 133 have died at Fort Hood including at least one homicide on the post itself-Vanessa Guillen. The article states that 13 homicides of Fort Hood soldiers occurred off post, 7 of which are still unsolved, including that of SPC Gregory Morales who disappeared in August 2019 and whose remains were found due to an anonymous tip in June 2020. Another 20 deaths of Fort Hood soldiers have been ruled as suicides, some of which are problematic when one reads the circumstances of death. The other deaths are listed as from automobile and motorcycle accidents, drownings and military exercise-related.
Unfortunately, the Fort Hood command structure stopped notifying the public of deaths of Fort Hood soldiers in March 2018 making the tracking of violence on the base much more difficult.
The Criminal Complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Texas, Waco Division quickly on July 2, 2020.
Reading the complaint is very instructive in missed opportunities by CID to resolve the disappearance and murder of SPC Vanessa Guillen.
Military families deserve better than what the Guillen family had to endure and a Congressional investigation into Fort Hood’s response to Guillen’s disappearance and murder is warranted.
NARRATIVE OF THE 6 PAGE CRIMINAL COMPLAINT FILED ON JULY 2, 2020, AT UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS, WACO DIVISION, CASE 6:20-MJ-00141-JCM.
The Criminal Complaint filed on July 2, 2020, states that on April 23, 2020, U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division (USACID) at Fort Hood was notified by a Captain in the Regimental Provost Marshal, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, TX, that Private First Class (PFC) Vanessa Guillen had been reported missing by her unit. A witness stated that PFC Guillen left the arms room where she was working to visit the arms room at another location at Fort Hood, one controlled by Specialist (SPC) Aaron Robinson, in order to confirm serial numbers for weapons and equipment. The witnesses verified that PFC Guillen left the arms room without her US Army identification card, bank card, or car keys with her barracks key attached. The witness stated that her property was still in the arms room when he secured the arms room for the day. A search of PFC Guillen’s phone records revealed the last outgoing text message from her phone was a message to SPC Robinson’s phone. SPC Robinson was the last person known to have seen PFC Guillen.
A week later on April 28, 2020, USACID interviewed SPC Robinson. SPC Robinson stated he texted PFC Guillen on April 22, 2020, to inform her he was in the arms room. He said she read serial numbers for equipment and afterward, he gave her paperwork and the serial number for a .50 caliber machine gun which needed to be serviced. Robinson said she left the arms room and he believed she would have next gone to the motor pool. Witnesses at the motor pool prepared to receive the paperwork from PFC Guillen stated she did not arrive with the papers. Among the things he said concerning his activities on April 22, 2020, SPC Robinson stated that after he finished his work, he went to his off-post residence he shared with his girlfriend Cecily Aguilar and did not leave the rest of the night, except around 6:30 pm when he had to come on post to sign on to a government computer to enroll in training.
Almost one month later, on May 18, 2020, two witnesses were interviewed who stated that on April 22, 2020, they observed SPC Robinson pulling a large “tough box,” with wheels, that appeared very heavy in weight, coming out the arms room, the same room where SPC Robinson worked. The two witnesses observed SPC Robinson load the “tough box” into his vehicle and drive away.
One month after PFC Guillen’s disappearance, on May 19, 2020, SPC Robinson consented to a search of his cellular phone by Universal Forensic Extraction. UFED extraction devices are small, portable computers that extract the entire contents of a cellphone and by bypassing passwords and other security features, they download personal information in seconds. A review of the phone call logs revealed SPC Robinson called his girlfriend Aguilar multiple times during the night of April 22, 2020, and as late as 03:3Oam on April 23, 2020. SPC Robinson also received calls from Aguilar throughout the day. The GPS location of Robinson’s cellphone on the night of April 22, 2020, should have provided details of where he had gone the night of Guillen’s disappearance, but apparently there was no CID follow-up on locations he had visited on April 22 and 23.
According to the Criminal Complaint, it took CID two months after PFC Guillen’s disappearance, to finally interview Robinson’s girlfriend Cecily Aguilar on June 19, 2020. Aguilar stated she was with SPC Robinson all night on April 22, 2020. She was asked why SPC Robinson would call her after midnight if he was at the residence with her. She stated she could not find her phone and had SPC Robinson call the phone to help her find it. This statement, however, was inconsistent with the lengths of the calls. SPC Robinson called Aguilar several times throughout the night and the calls after midnight were for lengths greater than one minute. During a second interview, Aguilar stated that she lied in her previous statement. She stated that she did leave her residence because one of the ways she copes is by taking long drives.
Aguilar stated that she was with SPC Robinson on the night of April 22, 2020 where they took a long drive to a park in Belton, Texas to look at the “stars.” Aguilar stated that after going to the park they returned home. An analysis of phone records (Criminal Complaint did not state the date of the analysis of the phone records) pertaining to SPC Robinson’s telephone was conducted. A review of the location data revealed that at approximately 1:59am, April 23, 2020, SPC Robinson’s cell phone was identified in the vicinity of FM 436 and West Main St, in Belton, TX; specifically, on or around a bridge. SPC Robinson’s cell phone then tracked along the Leon River in a “northward direction.” SPC Robinson’s cell phone remained in the area for approximately 2 hours.
Aguilar’s cellular telephone location data was also analyzed later (no date specified in the Criminal Complaint) and it revealed she and SPC Robinson were near the Leon River together on April 23, 2020 and April 26, 2020. Based upon this data, personnel from USACID, Bell County Sherriff’s Office (BCSO), and Texas Rangers, searched the Leon River site in Belton, Texas on June 21, 2020, three months after Guillen’s disappearance. A burn site with disturbed earth was identified. What appeared to be the burned remains of a plastic tote or tough box were found nearby in an area near where SPC Robinson’s phone pinged. The soil beneath the burn site was remarkably softer and moister than the soil found at similar depths merely feet away and had an odor of decomposition. However, no remains were located.
However, nine days later on June 30, 2020 at bout 1:00pm, CID was notified that contractors working on a fence adjacent to the Leon River in Belton, TX, discovered what appeared to be human remains. CID, along with FBI, Bell County Sheriff’s Office, the US Marshalls Service, and Texas Rangers, searched the area and identified scattered human remains that appeared to have been placed into a concrete-like substance and buried.
The discovery of human remains triggered another interview with Aguilar on June 30, 2020 at about 8:30pm, over three months and one week after Guillen’s disappearance. In this interview Aguilar admitted that SPC Robinson told her that on April 22, 2020, he struck a female soldier in the head with a hammer multiple times at his arms room, killing her on Fort Hood. SPC Robinson then placed her in a box and moved the box to a location near the Leon River in Belton, Texas.
On the evening of April 22, 2020 or the early morning of April 23, 2020, SPC Robinson picked Aguilar up at a gas station she worked at and took her out to a site near the Leon River and near a bridge. A box with wheels and handles was already at this site. SPC Robinson walked Aguilar over to the woods and opened up a box for Aguilar and she saw a dead female inside the box. Aguilar, on a later date, identified the dead female as Vanessa Guillen. To more easily dispose of and to conceal the body of the dead female, SPC Robinson and Aguilar proceeded to dismember the dead female’s body. They used a hatchet or ax and a machete type knife. They removed the limbs and the head from the body. SPC Robinson and Aguilar attempted to burn the body; however, the body would not burn completely. They placed the dead female in three separate holes and covered up the remains.
SPC Robinson and Aguilar returned to the site on a later date, believed to be on April 26, 2020 according to cellular telephone site analysis. Prior to their return, they obtained hairnets and gloves. Aguilar purchased a bag of what she referred to as concrete from someone utilizing Facebook messenger. On that date, SPC Robinson and Aguilar uncovered the remains of the dead female, removed them, and continued the process of breaking down the remains of the dead female. The remains were then burned again along with their gloves and hairnets. SPC Robinson and Aguilar placed the remains back in the three holes with the concrete purchased earlier. SPC Robinson and Aguilar burned their clothes later that night at their residence. SPC Robinson and Aguilar concocted the story about Aguilar and Robinson taking a long drive to a park in Belton as an alibi.
Sometime prior to June 30, 2020, SPC Robinson had been confined to his barracks room on Fort Hood. The Criminal Complaint does not state what date Robinson was confined to his barracks nor why he was not placed under guard as a “person of interest.” Robinson left his Fort Hood barracks sometime during the evening of June 30, 2020.
In the evening of June 30, 2020, at the request of law enforcement, Aguilar, who now was cooperating with law enforcement placed a “controlled” telephone call to SPC Robinson wherein he never denied anything they did to Vanessa Guillen and her body. SPC Robinson texted Aguilar pictures of the news articles advising of recovered human remains. In a later controlled telephone call, SPC Robinson advised, “baby they found pieces, they found pieces”. This was referring to the human remains recovered near the Leon River. Aguilar continued to assist law enforcement with locating SPC Robinson as he was on foot in Killeen, Texas after he left his barracks.
SPC Robinson located and was approached by law enforcement at 1.17 am on July 1, 2020. Law enforcement officials said he brandished a pistol and shot himself in the head, killing himself.