Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia Leads 87 Members of Congress Requesting DoD Inspector General to Conduct an Independent Investigation Into Specialist Vanessa Guillen’s Case

July 5, 2020
Press Release
Media Contact: Robert Julien (DC): Email: Robert.julien@mail.house.gov; Cell: 202-227-0330

HOUSTON, TX – Today, Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (TX-29) led a letter with 87 Members of Congress in support of Rep. Speier and Sen. Gillibrand’s request for Sean O’Donnell, the Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General, to conduct an independent investigation into Fort Hood’s handling of Specialist (SPC) Vanessa Guillen’s case. Rep. Speier serves as Chair of the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee and Senator Gillibrand is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Personnel of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“The United States military has a responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of the young women and men that take an oath to defend our country. In SPC Guillen’s case, the U.S. Army failed both Vanessa and her family,” said Congresswoman Garcia.

“There are still many questions left unanswered surrounding her disappearance and about how Fort Hood conducted its investigations. Congress must act to guarantee this never happens again to another soldier. This is why my colleagues and I strongly support Rep. Speier and Sen. Gillibrand’s request for the DoD Inspector General to conduct a full, independent investigation into Fort Hood’s handling of SPC Vanessa Guillen’s case,” concluded Congresswoman Garcia.

Background:

SPC Vanessa Guillen was a Houston native and a 20-year old Latina soldier that was last seen in Fort Hood on April 22nd, 2020. Human remains were found near Leon River in Bell County, Texas on June 30th, 2020. Since then, one suspect has been apprehended by law enforcement, and the other committed suicide when he confronted. The human remains found last week were positively identified as SPC Vanessa Guillen yesterday, July 5th, 2020.

The final letter can be found here.

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Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2018, becoming the first Latina ever to represent the Texas 29th Congressional District. She serves on the House Judiciary and Financial Services Committees.