Mourners gather in Houston for memorial for slain Fort Hood soldier
HOUSTON, Texas (KWTX) – Mourners gathered Friday at Cesar E. Chavez High School in Houston for a memorial service for slain Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen.
Guillen attended the high school and played soccer on the field on which the service is being held.
The memorial service runs from noon to 8 p.m.
A private funeral service is scheduled Saturday.
Members of Guillen’s Fort Hood unit are serving as pallbearers.
Guillen was remembered on July 17 at a memorial service on post attended by soldiers from her unit, the Regimental Engineer Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, and members of her grieving family.
“This is difficult,” the unit’s commander, Lt. Col. Edward Gavin, said during the memorial.
“This is difficult to discuss because the tragedy of her loss has forever changed our squadron and it has forever changed her family,” he said.
“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.”
Guillen was last seen sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on April 22 in the parking lot of her 3rd Cavalry Regiment Engineer Squadron Headquarters.
Keys to her car and her barracks room and her ID card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she had worked earlier in the day.
More than two months later, on June 30, contractors working on a fence along the Leon River discovered what appeared to be human remains.
Investigators searched the area “and identified scattered human remains that appeared to have been placed into a concrete-like substance and buried.”
The remains were later confirmed to be Guillen’s.
Cecily Anne Aguilar, 22, of Killeen, who’s accused of helping her boyfriend dismember and bury Guillen’s body was named in a three-count federal indictment Tuesday charging one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence and two counts of tampering with evidence.
Each count carries a potential maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
She remains in custody after pleading not guilty to the charges.
A motions hearing in Aguilar’s case is scheduled for Sept. 8, the deadline for a plea agreement is Sept. 14 and jury selection and trial is set for Sept. 28 a scheduling order signed Thursday by U.S. District Judge Alan D. Albright says.
Aguilar, the indictment alleges, conspired with her boyfriend, Spc. Aaron David Robinson, of Calumet City, Ill, “to corruptly alter, destroy, mutilate and conceal evidence, including the victim’s body in order to prevent Robinson from being charged with and prosecuted for any crime” and that Aguilar tampered with evidence in this case, including the victim’s body, to impair its integrity and availability for use in an official proceeding,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release.
A chilling federal affidavit released on July 2 says Robinson beat Guillen, with a hammer and that her body was later dismembered and burned.
Robinson shot himself in the head early in the morning on July 1 in the 4700 block of East Rancier Avenue as Killeen officers approached him.
He died at the scene.
Authorities later arrested Aguilar, the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood soldier.
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