As the search for missing Fort Hood soldier Pfc. Vanessa Guillen continues, Fort Hood officials provided an update on the investigation.
Guillen, 20, is a soldier with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment who was last seen April 22.
When the investigation initially began, more than 500 3rd Cavalry Regiment soldiers searched training areas, barracks and other areas across Fort Hood daily, according to Tom Rheinlander, director of the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office.
Pilots and crew of the 1st Cavalry Division also clocked more than 100 hours of flight time searching on- and off-post, Rheinlander said in a news release.
The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command is leading the investigation, but multiple agencies have provided assistance.
Other agencies involved in the investigation are the Texas Rangers, Bell and Coryell County Sheriff Departments, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Game Wardens, the FBI as well as local area police departments, the release said.
Mayra Guillen, the soldier’s older sister, said she appreciates the effort that Army and civilian investigators have put in.
“I honestly want to thank them from the bottom of my heart,” she said Thursday, at a news conference the family held outside of Fort Hood.
She added that it has been painful knowing that her sister, whom she is close with, is missing.
“She is such a sweet person, and it’s just not fair that she’s going through this right now,” Mayra Guillen said.
To mark the month since Guillen was last seen, members of a Houston-based human rights organization — Alianza Latina Internacional — organized a demonstration, which will take place Friday, outside Fort Hood.
The soldier’s mother, Gloria Guillen, spoke passionately in Spanish at the press conference, which was at the location of the planned demonstration, near the intersection of North Fort Hood Street and West Rancier Avenue.
Mayra Guillen said other locations may be used throughout the city to avoid issues with the city.
Killeen spokeswoman Hilary Shine said Wednesday that gatherings of 25 or more require a permit from the city.
Mayra Guillen pleaded with the public to contact investigators if they saw or heard anything.
“I need closure right now,” she said.
The family is confident that Vanessa Guillen will be found and returned to them.
“Vanessa, just know that we love you, and we’re not going to stop,” Mayra Guillen said.
Those wishing to participate in the demonstration should park behind Shipley Do-Nuts, 1301 W. Central Texas Expressway, Killeen, at 3 p.m. Demonstrators will be shuttled to the site(s) beginning around 4 p.m., Guillen’s sister said.
Demonstrators are encouraged to bring pre-made signs, but materials will be made available for those who want to make one at the meeting location.
Anyone with information should contact Army Criminal Investigative Division Special Agents at 254-495-7767 or the Military Police Desk at 254-287-4001.
Army CID officials are offering a $15,000 reward for credible information in regard to the soldier’s whereabouts.
Mayra Guillen set up a GoFundMe page May 4 with a goal of $20,000 to allow her to hire a private investigator.
As of 6 p.m. Thursday, the page fundraiser had received a total of $9,172 from 167 donors.