Brutal killing of Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood base was ‘tipping point’ for investigation where NINE have died this year
THE BRUTAL killing of Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood base was the "tipping point" for investigation where nine have died this year.
Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said that the figures are "the highest in most cases of sexual assault and harassment and murders for our entire formation in the US army."
During his visit, McCarthy said that Guillen's killing was the "tipping point" after it was unearthed that she had made sexual harassment claims leading up to her death.
Vanessa Guillen was a 20-year-old soldier who went missing in April.
Guillen was seen in the parking lot at Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters, 3rd Cavalry Regiment on the Fort Hood base, according to the US army.
She was allegedly bludgeoned to death before her body was chopped up and encased in cement.
"The murder of Specialist Vanessa Guillen has become a catalyst highlighting sexual harassment and sexual assault within the military," he said on Thursday.
"Vanessa's story has served as a tipping point where survivors spoke out on social media and shared their own trauma.
"We must honor her memory by creating enduring change as one harassment and one assault is one too many."
McCarthy hopes that a review will "root out" the problems at Fort Hood – which has seen four investigations over the past two months into the deaths of Specialist Vanessa Guillen, Private Gregory Wedel-Morales, Private Mejhor Morta, and Spc Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas.
At least nine soldiers have died in the military base area since March.
In June, police found the skeletal remains of 24-year-old Pvt Gregory Scott Morales Oklahoma in a field after they received a tip following his disappearance on August 19 2019.
The body of Pvt Mejhor Morta, 26, of Pensacola, Florida, was found in the vicinity of Stillhouse Hollow Lake – around 20 minutes from Fort Hood military base in Texas on July 17.
The body of Spc Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas, from Woodside, New York, was also recovered from the water after a boating incident on August 2.
In response to critics calling for Fort Hood to be shut down, McCarthy said those who work on the base make "amazing contributions" to the country we live in.
He said the Defense Department is going to do "everything we can to learn from this" and "protect [Guillen's] legacy by making enduring changes."
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