The grandmother of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, a Fort Hood soldier found dead near the base last month, demanded justice in her slaying while saying a final good to her granddaughter.
“That justice be done is what I ask of my Most Holy Father and the Army, because she did not deserve those things that they did to her — she was an innocent girl, why did they do those things to her?” Lorenza Almanza, who traveled from Mexico to be at the Friday service, told Noticias Telemundo.
Guillen was last seen alive on April 22 in the parking lot of her squadron headquarters, located on her Texas military base. The 20-year-old’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.
After months of searching, the Army uncovered the dismembered remains of Guillen’s body in June near the Leon River in Bell County, about 20 miles away from Foot Hood.
Her family has also said she complained to them about being sexually harassed prior to her disappearance.
Aaron Robinson, a fellow soldier identified as a suspect in her slaying, fatally shot himself as authorities closed in around him. A woman believed to be Robinson’s girlfriend, Cecily Aguilar, was arrested in the case and has since pleaded not guilty to federal charges of tampering with evidence.
According to a criminal complaint, Aguilar said in an interview with investigators that Robinson told her he killed a female soldier by hitting her on the head with a hammer. From there, he allegedly enlisted the 22-year-old’s help in disposing of the body, officials said.
“God knows how they made my daughter suffer,” said Almanza, referring to Guillen as her daughter.
The mourning grandmother added the last time she saw Guillén was in December of last year and remembered her as a loving and joyful woman.
Almanza took a bus from from Río Grande in Zacatecas to Houston to join the rest of the family for a closed memorial service remembering Guillen at Ft. Hood, according to Stars and Stripes.
“This is difficult to discuss because the tragedy of her loss has forever changed our squadron and it has forever changed her family,” Lt. Col. Edward Gavin, the engineer squadron commander, said during the ceremony, according to a base release.
“We wrestle with feelings of anger, depression, anxiety, fear, frustration and sadness. And, we have so many questions, some of which may never be answered.”
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