THE fiancé of murdered soldier Vanessa Guillén found out her body was dismembered and buried under concrete on Twitter as he reveals the last time he saw her in a new interview.
Juan Cruz proposed to 20-year-old Guillén just a month before she was murdered at Fort Hood, Texas, by Spc. Aaron Robinson, who killed himself as cops attempted an arrest.
Juan Cruz proposed to Guillén just a month before she was murdered[/caption]
Cruz said it still seems like a ‘nightmare’[/caption]
Cruz said he was at work when he saw the news about how Robinson dismembered his fiancée’s body and placed it into three separate graves, allegedly with the help of his girlfriend Cecily Aguilar.
She has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to hide and destroy evidence despite earlier telling cops of her involvement.
“It came up on Twitter, everyone was talking and I clicked on the conversation that was happening and I started to hear the story of what happened,” Cruz told ABC News during an interview to air on Friday night during the documentary What Happened to Vanessa.
“I was at work. I started getting anxiety attacks. I got in my car and I started to cry.”
Aaron Robinson killed himself as police tried to arrest him[/caption]
The soldier’s heartbroken fiancé also spoke about the last time he saw her, three days before she disappeared.
Born to Mexican immigrant parents in Houston, Guillén dreamed of serving her country since she was a child, her family said.
She first started Army training in June 2018 and was later stationed at Fort Hood.
Yet Guillén made the three-hour drive back to Houston every weekend to see her family.
Cruz told ABC that he last saw her when she kissed him goodbye before driving back to base.
“She told me, ‘I love you. Goodnight,’” he said.
“Then, the next day, she woke up, like, at 5 in the morning to leave for Fort Hood… I was still asleep but I remember she gave me a kiss and she left.”
Cruz details the last time he saw Guillén in a new interview[/caption]
Robinson was reported as the last person to see Guillén on April 22[/caption]
The search for the young soldier continued for months[/caption]
Guillén’s friend and fellow soldier Betavious “Tay” Hightower was the first to raise the alarm on April 22 after she failed to reply to him despite their plans to go for a hike after work.
Yet Cruz told ABC that he and Guillen’s family were already concerned that she wasn’t responding to them.
“I knew something was wrong because I’d check her social media,” Cruz said.
“I was like, ‘Man, I hopefully [will] see a tweet or something. I was just checking, but nothing.”
That evening he began to start searching with Guillen’s sister Mayra after they drove to Fort Hood as night fell.
“I [was] going to the gas stations, to stores, to the [bus stops] posting missing [signs] … like [for] the love of my life. It’s a nightmare,” Cruz said.
“On my way there, I was just crying because I couldn’t understand it,” Mayra Guillen also told ABC.
“I didn’t wanna think the worst, but [I was experiencing] a lotta panic.”
Guillén had allegedly told her mother she was being harassed[/caption]
She was found dismembered in three different graves[/caption]
Guillén’s body was eventually found on June 30 after investigators and volunteers came across a smell in an area along the Leon River.
Yet Guillén’s family has hit out that more was not done to protect the young woman before her death.
During the investigation, her mother Gloria Guillén had insisted that her daughter confided in her that she was being sexually harassed at Fort Hood but that she feared what would happen if she spoke out.
Hightower has also claimed that he called on the investigation to focus on Robinson from the off.
“We told them who to investigate from the beginning, and that’s not what happened. So, I feel like they should’ve come to that conclusion way earlier than they had,” he said to ABC.
“[I was] angry and sad at the same time because he was in our face the whole time,” Hightower added.
“We suspected him. We tried to tell them that it was this person, and he was just walking around like nothing happened. And he was around us, too. And it’s like we could have done something, but we didn’t know.”
Cruz also claims that the investigation “failed us since the beginning” as he says Guillén’s death still seems “like a nightmare.”
Tributes poured in for the murdered soldier during the search[/caption]
Her family spoke out about failures in the investigation[/caption]
“Memories never die,” he said.
“It just seems like a nightmare when I drive through Houston. I see her murals and I say to myself, ‘Damn, this is reality. She’s no longer here.’ On the other hand, murals aren’t made for just anyone. That brought me a bit of peace to my heart.”
Guillén’s body was unearthed in a shallow grave 20 miles east of Fort Hood, Texas, last July.
Her body was so horrifically bludgeoned, dismembered and burned that investigators couldn’t use dental records to identify the murdered soldier.
Cops had to use DNA from bone and hair samples to identify the corpse.
Federal and military investigators said Guillén was killed and dismembered by fellow soldier Aaron David Robinson, 20.
Robinson killed himself after authorities took him in for questioning and he escaped the conference room.
Aguilar, 22, was booked and charged with allegedly helping Robinson to mutilate and get rid of Guillén’s remains.
She faces up to 20 years in prison with a maximum $250,000 fine.
Congress began investigating the mysterious deaths, disappearances, and sexual assaults at Fort Hood in September after they were highlighted by Guillen’s murder.
The probe was headed by Democratic Representatives Stephen Lynch and Jackie Speier, who both chair the Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security and Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, respectively.
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The two subcommittees’ investigations focused on whether the recent deaths “may be symptomatic of underlying leadership, discipline and morale deficiencies throughout the chain-of-command.”
The representatives vowed to release the probe’s findings to the families of the deceased soldiers “who may have been failed by a military system and culture that was ultimately responsible for their care and protection.”
Fort Hood has more than 60,000 people including close to 37,000 service members.