Vanessa Guillen was a United States Army soldier of Hispanic descent. She hailed from Houston, Texas, USA.
Guillen was last seen alive at 1 p.m. on April 22, 2020 in the parking lot of the Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters for the 3rd Cavalry Regiment at the Fort Hood military base in Killeen, Texas, USA. Earlier that day, she had been working in the armory room wearing a black shirt, light purple leggings and a pair of black Nike tennis shoes.
Investigators found Guillen’s car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet in the armory room. They could not find her cellphone, which was last tracked in Belton, Texas, approximately 20 minutes from where she was last seen alive.
On June 9, 2020, the Criminal Investigation Command (CID) of the U.S. Army offered $15,000 reward offered for information leading to Guillen’s whereabouts. Houston rapper Ronald Ray “Baby Bash” Bryant pledged to add $5,000 on June 13, 2020 to the reward, which the CID increased to $25,000 on June 15, 2020.
On June 16, 2020, the League of United Latin American Citizens announced that it would add $25,000. It brought the total reward to $50,000.
Three weeks before Guillen went missing, she told her mother Gloria Guillen that one of her sergeants on Fort Hood was sexually harassing her but did not mention his name. Here are 13 facts about the Hispanic U.S. Army soldier:
- She was born in Houston to Rogelio Guillen and Gloria Guillen, who are immigrants from Los Delgado, Zacatecas, Mexico.
- She was 5’2″.
- She had light brown eyes, dark brown hair and a mole on the left side of her chin. She also had three tattoos on her left arm, which are a cross with a flower, another flower and a mountain with a circle.
- She attended Chavez High School in Houston where she played track, soccer and cross country. She graduated in the top 15 percent of her class.
- As a young girl, she dreamed of joining the army. Shortly after graduating from high school, she enlisted in the army.
- She was a private first class. Her military occupational specialty was listed as a 91F, small arms/artillery repairer.
- She was first stationed in South Carolina and then Virginia. In early 2020, she landed in the Fort Hood military base.
- She was in a relationship with Juan Cruz.
- She is the sister of Lupe Guillen and Mayra Guillen. They have three other siblings.
- On April 15, 2020, she was seen getting out of her white jeep and going to get food inside Taqueria Mexico on East Rancier Avenue in Killeen. Jaime Moreno, the restaurant’s owner, told KCENTV that she would often come there with other soldiers and friends.
- On June 11, 2020, Mexican-American actress Salma Hayek pledged to post her photo every day until she is found. She was found dead on June 30, 2020. She died at the age of 20.
- On July 1, 2020, she was promoted to Specialist due to time in service.
- A mural honoring her outside of Fort Hood was vandalized on October 1, 2020 and on April 3, 2021.