Friends and family say final goodbye to Vanessa Guillen

A private funeral was held in Houston for Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen. ahead of a public caravan to honor the fallen soldier.
A private funeral was held in Houston for Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen. ahead of a public caravan to honor the fallen soldier.

HOUSTON – A private funeral was held in Houston for Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen. ahead of a public caravan to honor the fallen soldier Saturday.

Guillen, 20, who was assigned to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, was last seen on April 22 in the parking lot of her squadron headquarters.

Her remains were found in a shallow grave near Fort Hood in late June.

“Even though she has tragically died young, her legacy will be long-lasting, bringing a lot of change to the military. And, she’s Houston’s own,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

RELATED READ: Timeline of the Vanessa Guillen case

A public memorial was held for Guillen at her alma mater, Chavez High School Friday. She will be buried Saturday after a private funeral.

At 5 p.m. on Saturday there was a caravan honoring Guillen.

The caravan started at the back wall of the Power House Gym at 8404 Park Terrace in Houston and went to 6900 Lawndale St., where there was a short balloon release, before ending at Taqueria Del Sol at 8114 Park Blvd.

People were asked to remain in their vehicles. Participants were also encouraged to put a yellow ribbon on their vehicles. Many participants also stopped to place items at Guillen’s memorial.

“I just feel that, in Vanessa’s case, although its a tragedy, she is making a big difference,” Cristina Billeeneas, a participant of the memorial caravan, said. “Although her voice was silenced, she has awakened all the other voices that were staying silent.”

Masks and social distancing were required.


About the Authors:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.