4-star Army general meets with Vanessa Guillen’s family in Houston

HOUSTON – KPRC 2 Investigates has learned four-star general John Murray visited with the Guillen family Tuesday at their southeast Houston home.

At Tuesday’s visit Gen. Murray and his staff brought a bouquet of flowers to the home and held a private meeting with the family for a little over two hours.

Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, 20 and a Houston native, was last seen at Fort Hood on April 22. Her remains were discovered June 30 in a shallow grave near Belton.

READ: Vanessa Guillen timeline: These are the dates to know about her case

Army officials named the main suspect in Guillen’s disappearance as Spc. Aaron David Robinson. Robinson was placed under the watch of an unarmed escort but managed to get to a car and flee the post. Killeen police pursued Robinson off-post and said he killed himself when officers closed in. An affidavit filed in the investigation accuses Robinson of bludgeoning Guillen. Court records read Robinson’s girlfriend, Cecily Anne Aguilar, is accused of helping him dispose of Guillen’s remains.

READ: Soldier’s estranged wife charged in connection with Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance, officials say

Tuesday’s meeting comes more than six months after Guillen’s disappearance and as several investigations are underway into numerous problems uncovered at Fort Hood, including Guillen’s murder. Guillen’s sister, Lupe Guillen characterized the meeting as a “waste of time.”

Lupe Guillen said the family was not given any information on the investigation they already didn’t know. Lupe Guillen still wants to know why Vanessa was murdered and whether anyone in her chain-of-command will be held accountable.

“How many more have to die for Fort Hood to be held accountable? How many more have to suffer sexual harassment, how many more have to have the trauma? How many more, cuantos mas?" said Lupe Guillen.

Gen. Murray said he could not comment on specifics because the investigations are on-going. According to the Army, Gen. Murray is tasked “to lead an in-depth investigation into the chain of command actions related to Spc. Vanessa Guillen.”

Gen. Murray said the Army is in the midst of changing the culture of leadership to one where officers get to know the soldiers under their command as well as their families.

“It’s not something that’s going to be fixed overnight. It’s going to have to be a consistent push to fix the issues we got. I do think the Army is committed to doing that,” said Murray.

In August, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy visited Fort Hood and apologized for failing Guillen and her family.

Weeks after the visit, Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt was removed from his position at Fort Hood.

About the Authors:

Award winning investigative journalist who joined KPRC 2 in July 2000. Husband and father of the Master of Disaster and Chaos Gremlin. “I don’t drink coffee to wake up, I wake up to drink coffee.”

Award-winning broadcast journalist covering local, regional, national and international stories. Recognized in the industry for subject matter expertise including: Legal/Court Research, the Space Industry, Education, Environmental Issues, Underserved Populations and Data Visualization.