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
The mother of missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen has pleaded with the military to give her family more information almost two months after her disappearance.
Private First-Class Guillen, 20, was last spotted in the parking lot at Fort Hood, where she is stationed, on April 22.
Before her disappearance, Guillen said she was being sexually harassed by a sergeant and did not feel safe but had not identified the person responsible, the family say.
The reward for finding Guillen increased to $55,000 Tuesday as her mother Gloria begged to find out what happened.
The family has also questioned whether the search is ongoing as the military state.
‘Two months have passed, and we know nothing, nothing, nothing. What’s happened? What happened on that base? Why did my daughter disappear?’ she said Tuesday during a virtual press conference hosted by Texas Congresswoman Sylvia García.
‘I can’t bear anymore, not one day more because I’m not sleeping and I’m in bad health.
‘Where is my daughter?’
Vanessa Guillen’s mother claimed she had complained to her about a sergeant sexually harassing her before her disappearance. Pictured, missing soldier Vanessa Guillen
The family have begged he military to share more information about her disappearance. Pictured is Vanessa’s mother Gloria Guillen holding her military portrait
Almost two months after her disappearance, the family of 20-year-old Vanessa Guillen continue to hold rallies outside of Fort Hood military base looking for more information
Congresswoman García added that the family is planning to meet Col. Ralph Overland, the 3rd Cavalry Regiment commander, this week and that he has committed to hearing the sexual harassment claims made by Guillen to her family.
Rep. García said the colonel is assembling a team to begin a ‘more thorough investigation’ and wishes to hear the allegations ‘so they can investigate every single one’.
‘That’s what’s concerning for us, we seem to have more questions than answers,’ she added.
During the press conference, it was also announced that the reward for finding Guillen, who is Latina, has now been increased to $55,000.
National Latino group, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), said Tuesday that they were donating $25,000 to the fund for information leading to Guillen’s whereabouts or information that leads to the indictment of anyone involved in her disappearance.
‘This young lady put on the uniform to serve our country; the least we can do is find out where she is now and what we can do to help her,’ said Domingo García, president of LULAC.
It came a day after Houston-based rapper Baby Bash also pledged $5,000 to the reward money.
‘FIND VANESSA!!!! Anything anybody knows… will help I will add 5000 to the reward,’ he posted to Facebook.
The military had already offered a $25,000 reward.
Texas Congresswoman Sylvia García is aiding the family. She held a press conference with them Tuesday and traveled to Fort Hood military base to meet with officials on June 8
Vanessa Guillen’s fa,mily spoke out during the virtual press conference on Tuesday
Fort Hood increased the reward for information on Vanessa Guillen to $25,000 on Monday
Houston-based rapper Baby Bash also added $5,000 to the reward fund
The family has even called on President Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz to intervene and aid the search for Guillen as they question the military’s search and call for the FBI to get involved.
Fort Hood released an updated statement on Guillen’s disappearance on June 10 just before they increased the reward.
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command told the family that they launched an ‘extensive’ search in April.
Initially, 500 soldiers helped to search the base on foot looking through training areas, barracks and outdoor areas right across the facility.
The searches are still taking place but with far smaller groups now, according to the Army.
Guillen’s (circled in red) car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she was working earlier in the day
Her last sighting was at 1pm on April 22 in the parking lot of Regimental Engineer Squadron HQ, 3rd Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, pictured, where she is stationed
Staff at the base claim searches are still being carried out for Guillen but with fewer staff
Guillen’s family have held at least three rallies and started an inline campaign to find her
‘The search continues both on and off Fort Hood by multiple military and civilian law enforcement agencies,’ a statement by military officials noted.
It added that the military held an in-person meeting with Guillen’s sister Mayra on May 23 and a virtual meeting with her mother Gloria and Congresswoman Garcia on June 8.
Guillen is a constituent of Garcia’s 29th Congressional District in Texas.
‘Pfc. Vanessa Guillen is a highly valued member of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment,’ said Col. Overland in the statement.
‘We will maintain our resolve to locate Pfc. Vanessa Guillen and will continue our efforts until she is found. We will never quit searching.’
But the family are still unhappy at how things have been progressing and the information they are receiving.
‘This happened inside a federal building and we’re still not getting answers,’ said Mayra Guillen, Vanessa’s older sister, at a press conference on June 10.
Communities across Texas, including Houston, have been rallying to show support for the Guillen family. Pictured, family and friends raise awareness at a rally in May
Pictured, Lupe Guillen, Vanessa’s younger sister, addresses the crowd at a rally to raise awareness about her disappearance outside the gates of Fort Hood military base on Friday
Fort Hood officials and Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, 20
Anyone with information should contact Army CID Special Agents at 254-495-7767 or the Military Police Desk at (254) 287-4001. She is described as a Latina woman, 5 feet 2 inches, weighing 126 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing purple leggings
Guillen was last seen on April 22 at 1pm in the parking lot of her Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters, 3rd Cavalry Regiment on the Army based in Killeen, Texas.
Her 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.
Mayra Guillen wrote on Facebook that the missing woman’s phone was last tracked on Belton, Texas, about 20 minutes away from Fort Hood.
So far, her family have held three rallies outside the Fort Hood Army base in order to generate some attention on the case and Hayek’s input will also serve to boost the profile.
Community groups including immigrant rights organization FIEL in Houston and LULAC have also joined with the family in peaceful demonstrations.
The hunt for the missing soldier reached national attention with the help of actress Salma Hayek who posted messages about Guillen on her Instagram page which has 15 million followers.
Hayek, 53, says she intends to post something daily until the soldier is found.
‘Bring back Vanessa… We won’t stop until you come back,’ she wrote.
Hayek is pledging to ‘put Vanessa’s photo on my stories every day until she is found.’
Loved ones have created a Facebook group called ‘Find Vanessa Guillen’ to raise awareness of the missing person case by sharing photos and biographical information of the soldier.
Mexican-American film 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
Hayek also provided some details as to what might have led to the soldier’s disappearance
According to one post, Guillen joined the US Army right after graduating high school.
‘She loves her job. She loves serving her country,’ another status update read.
The family has also established a GoFundMe page to aid the search that has so far raised more than $60,000.
Guillen is described as a woman of Hispanic descent, standing at 5 feet 2 inches, weighing 126 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to call Army CID Special Agents at 254-495-7767 or the Military Police Desk at (254) 287-4001.