Female soldier found dead at same Texas Army base where Vanessa Guillén was murdered

8 months ago 4

A female soldier died earlier this week at Fort Hood, the same Texas Army base where Vanessa Guillén was murdered three years ago, officials said. 

Combat engineer Pvt. Ana Basalduaruiz died on Monday at the base, Fort Hood said in a news release

Basalduaruiz, 20, was from Long Beach, California. She joined the Army in July 2021 and was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division since December 2021. 

Officials did not reveal how she died but said an investigation is underway into the circumstances of her death. 

The base said the chain of command is in contact with Basalduaruiz’s family and providing support and resources to her family and troopers that worked with her. 

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of PV2 Ana Basalduaruiz, and we extend our sympathies to her father, mother, and her sister,” Lt. Col. Patrick Sullivan, commander of the 91st Engineer Battalion said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time. She was an exceptional teammate that will truly be missed.”

Fort Hood shared an update on Thursday, saying the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division confirmed that “at this point in the investigation into the death of Pvt. Ana Basalduaruiz no foul play is evident, and will remain under investigation.”

"Army CID will continue to conduct a thorough investigation and gather all evidence and facts to ensure they discover exactly what transpired. Information related to any possible harassment will be addressed and investigated fully," the base said in the statement.

Just three years ago Fort Hood was cast under intense scrutiny when 20-year-old soldier Vanessa Guillén disappeared from the military base in Bell County on April 22, 2020.

Her family quickly organized rallies outside of the base and launched a #FindVanessaGuillén hashtag social media campaign.

Two months later, in June 2020 partial human remains were found along the Leon River in Belton and identified as belonging to Guillén. 

Authorities determined that the soldier suspected of killing Guillén was Spc. Aaron Robinson, who fatally shot himself as police moved to arrest him. Cecily Aguilar, a woman authorities say was Robinson’s girlfriend, pleaded guilty to federal charges in November 2022, accused of helping Robinson dispose of Guillén’s body and lying to investigators. 

Before she went missing, Guillén had told her family she had been sexually harassed by a supervisor. 

Her story led to another social media campaign with survivors of sexual abuse and harassment in the military sharing their stories online using the #IAmVanessaGuillén hashtag and demanding change. 

An independent review following her death found that the command climate at Fort Hood created a “permissive environment for sexual assault and sexual harassment." Several investigations sparked by Guillén's death led to the removal of 14 base leaders in December 2020.

Her death also inspired legal reforms to help and protect victims of sexual assault in the military. 

Key parts of the I Am Vanessa Guillen Act became law in December 2021, including criminalizing sexual harassment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, improving how certain officials respond to sex-related offenses through independent investigations, and removing the decision to prosecute sexual misconduct cases from service members’ chains of command.

Marlene Lenthang

Marlene Lenthang is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.

Read Entire Article