Missing Soldier Vanessa Guillen Reward Now at $55K as Congresswoman Calls Sexual Assault Claims 'Very Serious'
The Fort Hood soldier disappeared from the military base on April 22.
Reward money offered for information about missing Texas soldier Vanessa Guillen has risen to $55,000. Guillen, a 20-year-old private first class, disappeared April 22 from Fort Hood, where she repaired small artillery.
She hasn't been seen, or heard from, since.
The Army Criminal Investigation Command said Guillen, last seen in the parking lot of her military unit's headquarters, was wearing a black T-shirt and purple fitness pants. Her car and room keys, identification card and wallet were found in an armory room where she had been working.
At a Zoom press conference Tuesday, the woman's desperate mother, speaking in Spanish, said, "What happened was two months ago. Why did she disappear? For the love of God, I can't bear one day more. I want to know the truth."
Democratic Rep. Sylvia Garcia, who appeared with Gloria Guillen, said her office had requested help from the FBI and had opened a congressional inquiry.
"We need to get to the bottom of this," Garcia said. "We need to make sure that we look at every single complaint and every single allegation that is being made in this case and that we get to the bottom of it. Vanessa's mom has made it clear that Vanessa has previously ... expressed to her and her sister about not feeling safe on the base and that perhaps, being the victim of sexual assault on the base. This is very serious."
Her family said Guillen had spoken of a sergeant who had been sexually harassing her, but did not say the person's name and did not report it to superiors.
Army criminal investigators said in a statement they had no credible information or reports of such incidents.
More than 150 people have been interviewed by military officials, who are working with the FBI and other agencies to find Guillen, the statement said.
The Army announced Monday it had increased its initial reward offering of $15,000 to $25,000. Texas rapper Baby Bash said this week he would pay $5,000 for information leading to the location of Guillen. The United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), a leading civil rights organization for Latinos, announced an additional $25,000 reward at Tuesday's press conference.
Actress Salma Hayek has also joined calls for Guillen's disappearance to get more scrutiny, posting on social media this week, "We won't stop until you come back."
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