A Killeen, Texas, woman assisted her soldier boyfriend in disposing of a missing soldier’s body after he killed her with a hammer inside an armory on Fort Hood, according to a criminal complaint filed in the Western District Court of Texas.
Cecily Aguilar, 22, helped Spc. Aaron Robinson, 20, dispose of Spc. Vanessa Guillen’s body along the Leon River, about 30 miles from Fort Hood, after she was killed on April 22, the complaint alleged. The two worked together to burn the body, dismember it, mix the parts with concrete and bury the remains in three holes, the filing added.
Many of the details of how investigators say Guillen was killed and dismembered were first reported by Army Times on Thursday. Aguilar was charged later in the afternoon with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence. Robinson died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound when approached by law enforcement on Tuesday, according to Killeen police.
No attorney for Aguilar was listed on the court filings. She is expected to make an initial appearance in federal court in Waco early next week.
According to the complaint:
On April 22, a witness saw Guillen leave the armory where she was working to visit a separate armory controlled by Robinson, the complaint stated. Guillen went there to confirm serial numbers for weapons.
Guillen never returned and the witness recalled locking up the armory for the day with her ID card, bank card, car keys and barracks key still left inside.
After a search began, police obtained Guillen’s phone records and saw that the last outgoing text message from her phone was to Robinson’s cell phone. He told investigators that he and Guillen exchanged paperwork for a .50 caliber machine gun that needed to be serviced and she left the arms room. She was supposed to next go to the motor pool, but witnesses there said she never arrived.
After Guillen left, Robinson finished his work and went to his off-post residence that he shared with Aguilar, he told Army CID agents during an April 28 interview. Robinson added that he returned to Fort Hood at 6:30 p.m. on the day of Guillen’s disappearance to use a government computer to enroll in training.
On May 18, two witnesses said that on the day of Guillen’s disappearance, they “observed Robinson pulling a large ‘tough box,' with wheels, that appeared very heavy” out of the armory where he worked. The witnesses watched him load the box into his vehicle and drive away.
Robinson consented to a search of his cell phone the next day. A review of the call logs showed Robinson contacted Aguilar multiple times on the night Guillen disappeared. The calls went as late as 3:30 a.m. the next morning and continued the next day.
Aguilar was interviewed on June 19. She told investigators that she and Robinson were together the entire night on April 22. The repeated calls from Robinson were because she could not find her phone and he was calling to help her locate the device, she told investigators.
“This statement, however, is inconsistent with the lengths of the calls,” the complaint reads. “Robinson called Aguilar several times throughout the night and the calls after midnight were for lengths greater than one minute.”
Aguilar later said in a second interview that she did leave her home and took a drive to a park in Belton, Texas to “look at the stars.”
Location data from Robinson’s phone showed that at nearly 2 a.m. on April 23, the device was in the vicinity of a bridge along the Leon River. Robinson’s cell phone then tracked along the Leon River in a “northward direction,” and remained in the area for roughly two hours.
Aguilar’s phone was also tracked and revealed she was near the Leon River with Robinson on April 23 and 26. Unidentifed remains believed by family members to be those of Guillen were recovered this week along the Leon River and are undergoing forensic testing.
Army CID, Texas Rangers and Bell County sheriffs first searched the Leon River site on June 21. A burn pit was found with disturbed earth. Burned remains of a plastic tote or “tough box” were found in an area where Robinson’s phone pinged.
“The soil beneath the burn site was remarkably softer and moister than the soil found at similar depths merely feet away and had an odor of decomposition,” the complaint reads. “However, no remain were located.”
On June 30, contractors working on a fence near the Leon River alerted Army CID that they had discovered what appeared to be human remains. Agents once again searched the area and found scattered remains that appeared to have been placed into concrete and buried.
Aguilar was again interviewed on the night of June 30 and admitted that Robinson told her on April 22 that he struck a female soldier in the head with a hammer multiple times inside the armory. Robinson then placed the deceased soldier in a box and brought her to the Leon River, according to the complaint.
He later picked Aguilar up at a gas station where she worked and brought her to the bridge along the Leon River. A box with wheels and handles was already there when she arrived.
Robinson walked Aguilar over to the woods and opened up the box to show her a dead woman inside. Together, they dismembered the body using a hatchet and a machete-type knife, the complained alleged. They attempted to burn the body, before placing the remains in three separate holes.
The two suspects returned to the site with hairnets and gloves on April 26, according to cell phone records. Aguilar purchased a bag of what she referred to as concrete from someone through Facebook messenger.
Robinson and Aguilar uncovered the remains, removed them and burned them again along with their gloves and hairnets. They then placed the remains back in the three holes with the concrete, the complaint alleged. They later burned the clothes they were wearing during the process at their home.
The two “concocted” a story about Aguilar and Robinson taking a long drive to a park in Belton, Texas, as an alibi, the complaint alleged.
Robinson, who was supposed to be confined to a barracks room on Fort Hood, secretly left post on the night of June 30. Aguilar, at the request of law enforcement, placed a controlled telephone call to Robinson “wherein he never denied anything they did” to Guillen and her body, the complaint reads.
Robinson texted Aguilar pictures of news articles that reported about how law enforcement had found human remains near the Leon River, later saying over the phone, “baby they found pieces, they found pieces,” the complaint reads.
Aguilar helped law enforcement locate Robinson in the city of Killeen. Robinson was approached by law enforcement; however, he brandished a pistol and fired into his head, killing himself.
The identification of the human remains recovered is still pending. The motive for the alleged murder was not described in the complaint. Robinson and Guillen were both members of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment’s engineer squadron, though they were assigned to different troops.
If convicted, Aguilar faces up to 20 years in federal prison. She is currently in custody awaiting her first court appearance.
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 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq. Follow on Twitter @Kyle_Rempfer