Human remains found during search for Vanessa Guillen near Leon River

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2020, midnight 26
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The Army CID said additional information led them back to the area of a search for Vanessa Guillen that was conducted on June 22.

LITTLE RIVER-ACADEMY, Texas — The Army Criminal Investigation Division confirmed Tuesday human remains were found in an area near the Leon River, where a search for Vanessa Guillen was conducted on June 22.

Due to extensive investigative work conducted by Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, agents have returned to an area of interest close to the Leon River, Bell County, Texas for more investigative work in the search for PFC Vanessa Guillen. After receiving additional information, agents have discovered what has been described as partial human remains after analysis from a forensic anthropologist. Army CID agents are currently on scene with the Texas Rangers, the FBI and Bell County Sheriff's Department. No confirmation as to the identity of the remains has been made at this point and we ask for the media and public's understanding that the identification process can take time.

Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, no further information will be released at this time.

The search was near Little River Academy at 436 Leon River Bridge. It's the same area authorities were searching on June 22. The remains were removed around 6 p.m.

Sgt. Bryan Washko with the Texas Department of Public Safety said the remains were found just inside a tree line close to the street. A civilian in the area smelled something and notified the Bell County Sheriff's Department, Washko said.

Tim Miller with Texas Equusearch, which led several searches based on tips for Guillen, said, "The search is over pending positive identification. I believe it's her." Miller said he informed Guillen's family about the remains.

Guillen was last seen around 11:30 a.m. on April 22 in the parking lot of her regimental engineer squadron headquarters on Fort Hood.

Her car keys, room key, identification card and wallet were found in the armory room where she was working earlier in the day.

Garcia said Guillen had reported to her friends and family that a sergeant once came into her shower while she was naked.

Garcia said as of Tuesday afternoon she had not heard any additional information about the remains that were found.

"We have not heard from them (family) or Army. We heard thru media of the search," said Garcia.

Guillen's family held protests outside Fort Hood on Fridays for several weeks in a row calling for more answers in the case.

Guillen's mother Gloria made an impassioned plea in Spanish during the protest on June 23. She said she did not trust Fort Hood. She said she believed everything they've told her was lies.

The League of United Latin Citizens of American announced it was adding $25,000 to the reward on June 16. Rapper Baby Bash also said he would offer $5,000.

The family attorney, Natalie Kahwam, said Fort Hood never told the family when Guillen disappeared. They called Fort Hood to tell them they had not heard from her.

Kahwam also questioned why there had not been a 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. check to make sure soldiers were accounted for.

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