By WILLIAM MANSELL, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Officials and family members now suspect foul play in the disappearance of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, who went missing on April 22. She was last seen in the parking lot of her Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters at Fort Hood, Texas.
Texas Rep. Sylvia Garcia and the Guillen family held a press conference Tuesday after meeting with Fort Hood leadership to discuss her whereabouts and how the 20-year-old soldier went missing.
“They now have used the words foul play,” Garcia said Tuesday. “They are convinced now there’s foul play involved and they are following all the leads that they can.”
The family said they were pleased with the meeting, but said it still took too long for the investigation to be taken seriously by authorities.
“I still don’t understand why it had to take a little more than six weeks for them to start taking action because we started since day one,” Mayra Guillen, Vanessa’s older sister, said Tuesday.
Vanessa’s mother, Gloria Guillen, echoed that sentiment.
“If my daughter appears dead, close this base immediately,” she said, according to a translation by ABC affiliate KXXV-TV. “I want her alive, for the love of God. I need my daughter with me. She is my life. That’s why I’m fighting until they bring her back and the people who are responsible pay.”
“Investigate from the top to the bottom, everyone is responsible,” she added.
The U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Command also told ABC station KTRK-TV Tuesday that foul play is suspected.
“As we have stated from the day we opened a very extensive investigation on 23 April, we have not ruled anything in or out and are looking at all possibilities,” Chris Grey, chief of public affairs, USA Criminal Investigation Command, told KTRK. “At this point, and after the results of investigative information that has been developed in the last few days, we suspect foul play in the disappearance of PFC Vanessa Guillen.”
There is a $50,000 reward for information on her whereabouts.
Anyone with information can contact Army CID Special Agents at 254-495-7767 or the Military Police Desk at 254-287-4001.
Guillen is not the only soldier to recently go missing from Fort Hood.
The search for Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales ended last week with the discovery of his skeletal remains in a field in Killeen, Texas, after U.S. Army investigators received a tip directing them to the location of the body, officials said.
Wedel-Morales was last heard from on Aug. 20, 2019, a day after he was seen driving off the Fort Hood base in his Kia Rio, according to Army officials. He was scheduled to be discharged from the Army within days of his disappearance, Army official said.
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