Sep 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Army launches probe into leadership decisions surrounding Vanessa Guillén's death

People pay respects at a mural of Vanessa Guillen, a soldier based at nearby Fort Hood on July 6

A makeshift memorial to Vanessa Guillén, a soldier based at Fort Hood, in Austin, Texas, in July. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

The Army announced Tuesday that a four-star general will lead an investigation into the "chain of command actions" related to the killing of 20-year-old Spc. Vanessa Guillén in Fort Hood, Texas.

Details: The Army said in a statement that Gen. John Murray, commanding general of Army Futures Command, would lead the "in-depth investigation." Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, deputy commander of III Corps at Fort Hood, is no longer commander for the 1st Armored Division.

The big picture: Guillén went missing in April and some of her dismembered remains were found buried along the Leon River on June 30. The man authorities say killed her was found to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but a 22-year-old woman was charged with conspiracy to tamper with evidence surrounding Guillén's death.

  • Guillén's family said she faced sexual harassment while on the Texas base, which she did not report for fear of retaliation.
  • Her family met with President Trump last month, who said her death would be investigated "very powerfully."

What they're saying: "There are currently several investigations underway at Fort Hood which are tasked with reviewing a wide range of topics and concerns," the Army said in its statement. "Gen. Murray will roll those efforts into a more complete and comprehensive investigation that will delve into all activities and levels of leadership."

  • Murray’s investigation is separate from the independent review of Fort Hood, which began in August, the Army notes.
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