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Senior Army investigator meets with Vanessa Guillén’s family in Houston

Houston Chronicle logo Houston Chronicle 10/28/2020 By Julian Gill, Staff writer
a group of people posing for the camera: Gloria Guillen, right, mother of 20-year-old murder victim U.S. Army Private First Class Vanessa Guillen, and her daughter Lupe, second from right, attend a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on September 16, 2020. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS) © Win McNamee, HO / TNS

Gloria Guillen, right, mother of 20-year-old murder victim U.S. Army Private First Class Vanessa Guillen, and her daughter Lupe, second from right, attend a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on September 16, 2020. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)

A senior U.S. Army official on Tuesday spoke with the family of Vanessa Guillén in Houston, delivering an update on the investigation into the soldier’s death and collecting additional information about the case, the army announced.

Gen. John Murray, commanding general of Army Futures Command and a senior investigator into Guillén’s death, is conducting a formal inquiry known as a “15-6 investigation” into the chain of command actions related to her killing.

Spc. Aaron David Robinson was accused of bludgeoning Guillén in April and burying her mutilated body in a rural area about 30 miles from the base. Robinson died of a self-inflicted gunshot when police tried to take him into custody. His girlfriend, Cecily Ann Aguilar, has been charged as an accomplice.

Guillén’s family previously told authorities that she had been sexually harassed before her disappearance, but army officials have said they did not find evidence of harassment during its initial probe.

The army on Tuesday did not provide any additional updates about the investigation or what Guillén’s family told Murray during their meeting.

Murray’s investigation incorporates information from other reviews of Guillén’s case, including the ongoing criminal probe by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and a review of the post’s sexual harassment reporting program by the U.S. Army Forces Command Inspector General.

"What happened to Spc. Guillén was horrible. We must honor her memory by doing better," said Gen. Michael X. Garrett, the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg who appointed Gen. Murray. "This investigation will allow us to better understand what happened. Importantly, it will also give us insight on what we can do to ensure something like this doesn't happen again."

The army said it would publicly release more information about the investigation “once the final report is complete.”

julian.gill@chron.com

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