Friends and family say final goodbye to Vanessa Guillen

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.

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