Partial human remains have been found during the search for missing Fort Hood soldier Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, according to Army officials.
An attorney for the Guillen family told Army Times that the remains are suspected to be those of Guillen, but Army Criminal Investigation Command has not yet confirmed that assessment.
Army CID agents said in a statement Tuesday that human remains were found along the Leon River in Bell County, Texas, where a search for Guillen was previously conducted on June 22.
“After receiving additional information, agents have discovered what has been described as partial human remains after analysis from a forensic anthropologist,” according to an Army CID statement released Tuesday. “No confirmation as to the identity of the remains has been made at this point and we ask for the media and public’s understanding that the identification process can take time. Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, no further information will be released.”
Army CID agents are still working at the scene with the Texas Rangers, the FBI and Bell County Sheriff’s Department. Local media also present there said the search began early Tuesday morning near a town called Little River-Academy that is roughly 30 miles east of Fort Hood.
A search and rescue nonprofit known as Texas EquuSearch has been assisting with locating Guillen since she went missing on April 22 during the middle of a duty day.
Texas EquuSearch founder Tim Miller told ABC13 that the remains currently being investigated were found in a shallow grave a few feet from where a search was previously conducted.
“It’s believed to be her pending positive identification. That would be determined by the medical examiner’s office. But I’m confident to say that the search for Vanessa is now over,” Miller told ABC13.
Guillen, a 20-year-old soldier, was last seen in the parking lot of her squadron headquarters for 3rd Cavalry Regiment on Fort Hood. She had been working in the armory prior to her disappearance.
Guillen’s mother has said that her daughter experienced sexual harassment from a sergeant. The 3rd Cavalry Regiment opened a separate investigation into those allegations earlier this month.
The remains of another missing soldier, Pvt. Gregory Morales, were found outside Fort Hood on June 19. The remains were left in a field near the 3200 block of Florence Road in Killeen.
Morales had been missing since August 2019 and was listed by the Army as a deserter. He vanished days before his scheduled discharge.
Foul play is suspected in the investigations of Morales and Guillen, Army CID agents have said previously. The Army is offering a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone with credible information concerning the circumstances surrounding the death of Morales and the disappearance of Guillen.
Morales was positively identified using dental records with assistance from the Fort Hood Dental Health Activity forensics team. An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the cause and manner of death.
Investigators previously said they’ve found no credible information linking Morales’ case to that of Guillen.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.