Attorney for family of missing soldier calls on Congress to launch investigation against Fort Hood, launches "I am Vanessa" campaign

Because the months-long seek continues for Non-public First Magnificence Vanessa Guillen, the Fortress Hood soldier who has been lacking since April 22, the circle of relatives’s legal professional has asked that U.S. Senator Ted Cruz open a congressional investigation into her disappearance.

Vanessa GuillenUnited States Military

Natalie Khawam advised Dateline that she spoke with Sen. Cruz staffers on Thursday to officially request a Senate inquiry after what she described as a “disconcerting” assembly on Tuesday with Fortress Hood leaders.

The assembly, which additionally integrated the U.S. Congresswoman Sylvia García, used to be held with the hope of the Guillen circle of relatives getting solutions to no less than a few of their questions on their daughter’s disappearance.

However Khawam mentioned they didn’t obtain any data they have been promised.

“For this reason we’d like a congressional investigation,” Khawam advised Dateline. “The bottom command didn’t supply us with the guidelines they promised us. They weren’t clear, or coming near near. We were given not anything.”

The U.S. Military, below complaint from the Guillen circle of relatives, spoke out this week, consistent with NBC Information, addressing questions concerning the investigation into Vanessa’s disappearance greater than two months previous.

The Military integrated with its checklist of solutions to continuously requested questions concerning the case a message, pronouncing: “We’re very involved for the welfare of PFC Vanessa Guillen and we totally perceive the disappointment felt through the circle of relatives, pals and fellow Squaddies of Vanessa. We’re doing the entirety in our energy to get her again and won’t forestall till we do.”

Vanessa Guillen

Vanessa, a 20-year-old non-public top quality within the third Cavalry Regiment, used to be ultimate observed April 22, in a Fortress Hood automobile parking space. Her automotive and barracks room keys, identity card and pockets have been discovered within the armory room the place she used to be operating the day she disappeared, Fortress Hood officers mentioned.

In keeping with Rep. García at a press convention held Tuesday in Fortress Hood, the Military is now satisfied there used to be “foul play” all for Vanessa’s disappearance.

“They’ve now used the phrases foul play. They’re satisfied now that there’s foul play concerned and they’re following all of the leads they may be able to,” the congresswoman mentioned on the press convention that used to be are living streamed on social media.

Vanessa’s sister, Mayra, advised Dateline that Vanessa had in the past expressed to their mom, Gloria Guillen, that she felt unsafe at Fortress Hood and sergeant have been sexually harassing her. Mayra mentioned Vanessa by no means known that particular person and not reported any incidents to the Military’s Sexual Harassment/Attack Reaction and Prevention program.

The Military mentioned that its prison investigation unit has “no credible data or stories that Vanessa used to be sexually assaulted.”

“Moreover, we aren’t conscious about any record of sexual harassment from Percent. Guillen or every other Soldier on her behalf. On the other hand, we’re taking a look in any respect chances and feature now not dominated anything else in or out. Fortress Hood has opened an investigation into stories of sexual harassment that the Guillen circle of relatives has reported,” the Military wrote.

A spokesman for the U.S. Military Legal Investigation Command (CID) insisted to Dateline’s “Lacking in The united states” that the company is investigating all leads.

“We’re utterly dedicated to discovering Vanessa and aggressively going after each and every unmarried piece of credible data and each and every lead on this investigation,” Military CID Leader of Public Affairs spokesman Chris Gray mentioned. “We will be able to now not forestall till we discover Vanessa.”

Khawam advised Dateline that whilst the army equipped some solutions to their questions on the assembly Tuesday, she mentioned that one of the vital key items of knowledge they didn’t get used to be an in depth timeline of what Vanessa did the day she disappeared.

Khawam added that she hopes a congressional inquiry will discover what the circle of relatives believes is an army cover-up.

“The objective is to determine what truly came about to Vanessa,” Khawam mentioned. “One thing is going on at that base and other folks — particularly ladies — are too scared to speak about it.”

She defined that the circle of relatives does now not consider that army leaders are telling them the reality. The circle of relatives mentioned they realized about Vanessa’s disappearance after her boyfriend and one in all her sisters have been not able to achieve her.

Army leaders advised the circle of relatives they didn’t know Vanessa used to be lacking till eight p.m. on April 22.

“It doesn’t make sense,” Khawam mentioned. “The place used to be she all through the check-ins previous within the day. How is it that she wasn’t reported as absent if she ignored the ones check-ins?”

In keeping with Khawam, army officials mentioned that every one squaddies have been accounted for that day all through the afternoon check-ins.

“How do you verify any individual in who’s now not there? They lied,” Khawam mentioned. She added that officials mentioned it on the Tuesday assembly and characterised it as “a mistake.”

Khawam, who’s based totally in Florida, will stay in Washington, D.C. to do “no matter it takes” for a congressional investigation to be introduced.

She additionally met with LULAC, the oldest Latino civil rights group within the U.S., and in combination they’ve introduced the “I’m Vanessa” marketing campaign following an outpouring from ladies who’ve come ahead on social media with their very own reports with sexual harassment within the army. The hashtag #IamVanessaGuillen has been trending on social media.

“Vanessa’s tale may be very pricey to me and I’ll do no matter I will be able to to lend a hand the Guillen circle of relatives,” Khawam mentioned. She added that she feels attached to the circle of relatives, as a result of her personal folks are immigrants. “There’s a language barrier with Vanessa’s mom, however that doesn’t imply she will be able to’t get the similar combat for her daughter. The similar justice. They want to be heard and I’m going to stay pushing till I in finding solutions.”

Vanessa’s disappearance has drawn native protests, whilst celebrities corresponding to Salma Hayek and Houston rapper Child Bash, have joined within the effort to attract consideration to her case.

Khawam advised Dateline protest and nationwide press convention is scheduled to be held in entrance of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, July 2.

“That is simply the top of the iceberg,” Khawam mentioned. “I consider that is going to be the beginning of a motion. Those ladies — those squaddies — they’re those who stay us protected. They’re our nationwide safety. We must be doing the entirety we will to stay them protected. And to be sure that in the event that they don’t really feel protected, they may be able to pass to anyone with out repercussion.”

Any individual who needs to proportion their tale can use the hashtag #IamVanessaGuillen on Twitter, or touch Khawam at nkkesquire@gmail.com.

A praise of as much as $50,000 is now being presented for credible data resulting in the whereabouts of Vanessa Guillen.

Vanessa is 5 ft, two inches tall, 126 kilos, with black hair and brown eyes. She has the tattoo of a pass with a flower on her left arm, some other flower additionally at the left arm, and a mountain with a circle on her higher left shoulder. She has a small mole between her decrease mouth, and her chin. Vanessa used to be ultimate observed dressed in a black t-shirt and pink fitness-type pants.

Any individual with details about her whereabouts is steered to touch Military CID Particular Brokers at 254-287-2722 or the Army Police Table at 254-288-1170. They may be able to additionally anonymously publish data at https://www.cid.military.mil/report-a-crime.html.

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