With the assistance of 30 volunteers, remains have been discovered likely linked to missing U.S. Army soldier Vanessa Guillen, Daily Mail reports. However, the remains have since been transferred to the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas for analysis and further review.
According to local news outlet KWTX, volunteers found the remains in Coryell County, Texas, which is close to an hour drive from Guillen’s Fort Hood Army Base in Kileen, Texas, where she was last seen two months ago.
What makes the case interesting is, the remains were found near the same location that missing soldier Gregory Wedel-Morales was found on June 19, the outlet reports.
“We know it’s a process of elimination, so we know where she’s not, and we keep moving forward so we can hopefully look forward to the day we can say we know where she is,” Tim Miller, the founder of Texas Equusearch, stated in regards to the search for Guillen.
Personal items were found nearby in a river; however, Miller wouldn’t reveal information on exactly what was found, to the public.
Lawyer Natalie Khawan, who is representing Guillen’s family in this case, requested that the military reviews video camera surveillance on base to look for clues in her disappearance, however, the base confirmed there are no recording cameras installed at that location.
Another key factor in finding out what happened in the case, according to Khawan, is going through cellphones that could have been in contact with Guillen moments prior to her disappearance.
According to the attorney, a message was sent from Guillen’s phone, which included the serial number of a weapon; however, Khawan found the message to be suspicious, insisting that someone else likely sent the text using Guillen’s phone.
“The serial number of a firearm was sent from Vanessa’s cell phone. This text message is very unusual for us because it is not something that is normally sent between the soldiers of the base,” Khawan stated. “So we think that there is a possibility that someone else had sent the message, but the military authorities do not want to tell us the recipient of it.”
Daily Mail went on to report that Guillen was last seen in the parking lot of her regimental engineer squadron headquarters at the Killeen base, where she left behind her car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet which were all later found in the armory room where she was working the day of her disappearance. She was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, light purple leggings, and black Nike sneakers, the outlet reports.
Guillen had also accused an unarmed sergeant on-site, of sexual harassment, claiming she felt unsafe in the days leading up to her disappearance, her family reveals.
Khawam said in a statement to ABC13 that in the past, Guillen had claimed a superior had walked in on her showering and sexually harassed her with “verbal remarks” while speaking in Spanish. Guillen never reported the incident of harassment as she feared for the retaliation if she did, Khawam reveals.
As of two weeks ago, an investigation is now underway at the Fort Hood Army Base stemming from Guillen’s claims over sexual misconduct.
The U.S. Army Investigators are suspecting foul play in Guillen’s disappearance, according to U.S. Representative Sylvia Garcia.
“We don’t want just attention. We want action. We want answers,” Garcia said. “We’ve got to remember that this is a family that is hurting.”
A $55,000 reward, funded by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and the League of United Latin American Citizens (each organization is contributing $25,000), is being offered for information in her disappearance.
Wedel, who went by Morales, who was also found near the same area as the remains likely belonging to Guillen, was last seen on August 19, 2019, driving his car outside of Fort Hood days ahead of being discharged, the Army revealed.
“Morales joined the Army in June 2015 as a motor transport operator and had been assigned to the 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood since November 2016, “Daily Mail reports, via the Army.
There is a $25,000 reward for information regarding his death.
“The First Team is saddened by the news of the passing of PV2 Gregory Morales. His life was taken too soon, and we appreciate his service to our nation,” Major Gen Jeffery Broadwater, commander, 1st Cavalry Division, said in a statement.