CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS Chicago/CBS News) — There was a show of support Thursday night for a Fort Hood soldier whom officials say was killed by a fellow Army specialist from the south suburbs.
Demonstrators held a rally calling for “justice for Vanessa” during the vigil in south suburban Chicago Heights late Thursday afternoon.
Vanessa Guillén’s remains were found last week, more than two months after she disappeared from Fort Hood in Texas.
Vigil organizers may not have known Guillen personally, but they felt a sense of duty to honor her life and tragic death.
“We are Vanessa. We are her voice,” said Julio Alverio, who attended the vigil You know, we have to be here to support each other, and if we don’t do it, nobody’s going to do it.”
Specialist Aaron Robinson and a woman identified as his girlfriend, Cecily Aguilar, have been identified as suspects in the case. Aguilar told investigators that Robinson said he killed Guillén by hitting her in the head with a hammer, and that the pair later disposed of her body, according to the criminal complaint filed against Aguilar. Robinson ran away from Fort Hood and died by suicide as police were closing in on him, local authorities said.
Robinson is a Calumet City native. He entered the Army in October 2017 and was a combat engineer.
Family lawyer Natalie Khawam accused Robinson of sexually harassing Guillén. Khawam said Sunday the military sexual harassment is an “epidemic” and demands attention from Congress. “You can’t turn a blind eye anymore,” she said.
Christopher Brito of CBS News contributed to this report.