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Murdered On Base — The Tragic Case Of Vanessa Guillen

She was only 20 years old when she mysteriously vanished at Fort Hood military base in Texas. Everyone at the barrack swore they had no idea where she was. Were they telling the truth, or was it a cover-up?

By Mrs HPublished about a year ago 7 min read

Early Life

Vanessa Guillen was born and raised in Houston, Texas. It had always been her dream to give back to the community and render service to her country at a very tender age. Determined to chase her goal, she enrolled with the US Army at 18 and worked hard to obtain the specialist private first-class army position. After passing the training, she was permanently stationed at Fort Hood army barrack.

Stationed in her hometown worked well for everyone. She only needed to drive for about thirty minutes to visit friends and family. In March 2020, the man of her dreams, Juan Cruz, proposed, and the young couple looked splendid together. Sadly few months down the line, things began taking a different turn. Her mother, Gloria, started noticing that Vanessa's smile and enthusiasm to head back to work every time she visited slowly faded away. Out of concern, she approached her daughter. At first, Vanessa brushed it off, claiming everything was okay, but Gloria would not take a lie for an answer.

But, sometimes, the honest answers are the ones we are never emotionally prepared to handle. Vanessa was being sexually harassed by one of the sergeants at work. That kind of news is one any parent who has a girl child prays to never hear of. Gloria knew her daughter was in danger, and as a mother, it was her duty to protect her. Unfortunately, when she requested the name of the scumbag, Vanessa chickened out and refused to give it to her. Instead, she told her mother she wasn't alone in this ordeal. Almost every girl in her base was facing it, and nothing was being done to protect them, even after reporting. Without a name, Gloria felt powerless and failed to report the case.

Nevertheless, it wasn't the only nightmare transpiring behind closed doors. Vanessa had a stalker. It didn't matter what she was doing or where she was; the dickhead was always around, making her uncomfortable and scared. This despicable behaviour had reached its boiling point and began taking a massive toll on her mental health. According to Gloria, her daughter had had enough of it and was about to make a formal complaint, but that same week, she mysteriously vanished.


Beautiful Vanessa Guillen was last seen at around 1 pm in the parking lot of her unit on the 22nd of April 2020. All her belongings were safely found inside the armoury, but no sign of her. The following day a report of a missing person was filed with US Army Criminal Investigation Command. Her case moved a lot of people with multiple departments joining in to help. On the 9th of June 2020, a $15000 reward was advertised to anyone who had valuable information leading to an arrest. Days and weeks passed with no one coming forward, including people at her base. The reward increased to $25000, and after a week, the League of United Latin-American Citizens added another half which brought the total to $50 000.

Within two weeks of her disappearance, everyone who had joined to help was on the ground, searching everywhere possible but yielded nothing.

While the ordinary people were doing their best to find her, Vanessa's family felt the army was dragging their feet. Even though the barrack had surveillance cameras everywhere, no one bothered looking into them. They continued with their lives as if nothing had happened. Suspecting foul play, Gloria told reporters that she had no faith in the US Army leading and handling the investigation, and she would not allow her case to be another statistic to cold ones. The family attorney Natalie Khawam, solidified her intuitions, stating that she also believed the family was "being kept in the dark" on their daughter's disappearance. Only a few details concerning the case had been realized, and the rest swept under the carpet.

The community response to the family's plea was incredibly tremendous. A # Find Vanessa movement quickly launched, with thousands of people flocking to different places searching for her. Those with balls stood outside the gates of Fort Hood barrack and demanded answers. They believed whatever happened to her did not take place outside that building. Gloria took a stand and vowed that if her baby was not returned to her alive, she would shut down the Fort Hood base by any means necessary, even if it was the last thing she would do in her lifetime. Sadly, Vanessa's remains were found that day.

Suspicious call

According to Vanessa's last texts with her parents, she was not supposed to be working that day, but someone had called her in. Who was it, and why?

When Vanessa arrived at work on the 22nd of April 2020, she was given a daily duty to work in the arms rooms, but one witness said that Vanessa left her duty post within a few hours of starting her shift. She headed to a specialist department led by 20-year-old Aaron Robinson. According to him, Vanessa did not stay longer in the room. They had a quick chat, and he gave her instructions to work on a specific gun that needed fixing. Exiting the room, she took the route to the motor pool, but soldiers at the pool said Vanessa never arrived though they were expecting her. She had mysteriously vanished on the way. How? It wasn't a long-distance in-between.

Since Aaron was the last person seen with Vanessa, he became the prime suspect. In defending himself, he said that after finishing work, he left the barracks and headed to his home to spend the night with his girlfriend Cecily Aguilar and returned to work the following morning around 6.30 am. However, that contradicted the statement given by most soldiers that he was seen around multiple times pushing a heavy tuff box before placing it in his car and driving off. Was it actually him or someone posing as Aaron? The mystery continued.

With all fingers pointing at him, Aaron needed a good alibi on his side and was none other than his girlfriend, Cecily. After investigators looked at his phone calls, they noticed constant phone calls between the two, yet Aaron had said they were together the whole night. Police headed to Cecily to ask questions. At first, she agreed that they were together, but when the officer asked her to explain the constant calls, she claimed she had lost her phone, so they used Aarrons' to try and find hers. That did not make sense at all. None of the calls was missed and lasted a couple of minutes.

Seeing that she had been caught, Cecily changed her narrative. This time she claimed that after they found her phone, the two had an argument, and she stormed out, leaving Aaron at home, but they spoke on the phone as she was driving around to get some air and cool down. Then Aaron joined her, and both headed to Belton, Texas, for some stargazing. That made a bit of sense; people fight and makeup, but the police needed to confirm from his GPS location.

After checking it, it landed them at a different location near a river called Leon, and he had been there for around two hours. Officers wasted no time and headed there. Within a few minutes of searching, the remains of a burned plastic container were found, with a scent of human decomposition but no sign of the actual remains. After a few days, during the river fence construction, Vanessa's remains were found.

The dark side of Cecily

On the 30th of June 2020, police brought Cecily back for questioning, and once she knew the body had been found, she confessed everything. The night they drove to Leon River, she knew her boyfriend had killed Vanessa with a harmer and out of love, she had agreed to help him dispose of the body. Awkwardly after that, she had posted a caption on Instagram that pretty much exposed what they had done, but out of naivety, no one suspected anything.

“He showed her the darkest part of him, she said black is my favourite colour.”

After hearing her confession, the police wanted one from Aaron, who had no idea what was happening outside since he was locked up as a prime suspect. Police requested Cecily to make a phone call to her boyfriend and create a fake conversation in line with what happened to Vanessa, and Aaron fell for it. Ending the call, she told him Vanessa's remains had been found.

Aaron escaped from the room he was held in without wasting time, and none of the soldiers agreed to have learnt him a hand. Police began tracking him down, and after three days, they managed to locate him. Nevertheless, he shot himself to death as soon as he saw them. Police then arrested the girlfriend for willfully being involved in disposing of the body and concealing the information from the police.

Was Cecily manipulated into this?

A lot didn't make sense as to why she had agreed to help Aaron in this gruesome crime, yet they had only been together for two months. Others speculated that maybe Aaron was narcissistic and a good manipulator, and Cecily fell prey way too quickly than usual. On the other hand, recent inside information revealed that the two were having an affair. Cecily was married to one of the ranks while seeing Aaron, and there was a high possibility that Vanessa had found out about it, giving the two a reason to get rid of her.

Though Fort Hood base dismisses all of Vanessa's claims, one thing that makes sense to me is that Aaron was the sexual harassment stalker Vanessa had previously mentioned to her mother. Then maybe on that day, she found the courage to report it, and whoever she told passed the information to Aaron, and he ended her life. It was all foul play, and we might never know the truth except for all the monsters involved. May she rest in peace.

An update will be posted.


This story was originally written and published by me on Medium

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About the Creator

Mrs H

Hie,guys. Thank you for stopping by. I write about true crime, rare stories and paranomal activities. If you are interested in such, please feel free to stick around. Thank you

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