Fort Hood

US Army Increases Reward to $25K for Information on Missing Fort Hood Soldier

Pfc. Vanessa Guillen vanished from the post on April 22

NBC 5 News

The U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command has increased the amount of the reward from $15,000 to up to $25,000 for information leading to the whereabouts of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, who disappeared from Fort Hood in late April.

Guillen, 20, of Houston, was last seen about 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 22 in the parking lot of the Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, the Army said. She was last seen in the parking lot wearing a black t-shirt and purple fitness-type pants.

Her car keys, room key, identification card and wallet were later found in a room where she had worked earlier in the day, the Army said.

"We are completely committed to finding Vanessa and aggressively going after every single piece of credible information and every lead in this investigation," said Chris Grey, spokesman for Army CID. "We will not stop until we find Vanessa."

"We are working very closely with multiple law enforcement agencies to include the FBI, Belton Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety, as well as others," Grey said. "We have also partnered with Texas EquuSearch and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to tap into their resources as well. We have participated in ground and air searches on Fort Hood and throughout the Central Texas region."

The League of United American Latin American Citizens has also announced a $25,000 reward for information.

“Please help me find my girlfriend,” her boyfriend Juan Cruz tweeted back in April. “Please anything helps.”

Guillen graduated from Chavez High School in Houston two years ago and enlisted in the Army.

"She loved going to the gym, playing soccer, (and) running," her sister Mayra said in a telephone interview.

She went to boot camp in South Carolina and was stationed in Virginia before moving to Fort Hood.

"She was actually very happy," her sister said. "You can see in every picture she was smiling."

Guillen's sister said she suspected something was wrong when her sister texted her "I'm going in to work" about 9 a.m. Wednesday, but did not respond to later messages.

When others tried to text her, it seemed her phone had been turned off, she said.

Increasingly concerned, Mayra Guillen drove about three hours from Houston to Fort Hood to search for her.

Guillen has three tattoos on her left arm.

Guillen worked in the "arms room" at Fort Hood, where she kept inventory of firearms and checked serial numbers, her sister said. That's the area where her keys and identification were found.

Guillen's car also was found where she usually parked it outside her barracks -- within walking distance of where she worked, Mayra Guillen said.

Her cell phone was the only item never found, she said.

Mayra Guillen said she will stay near Fort Hood to search for her sister.

"I don't plan on leaving until I have something concrete," she said.

The disappearance of a soldier from such an active military base is a mystery, her sister said.

"We know somebody out there has some very critical information pertaining to this investigation and we strongly encourage you to do the right thing and come forward," Grey said. "Do it for Vanessa and do it for her family, friends and fellow Soldiers."

More than 150 people have been interviewed over the disappearance, The Associated Press reported.

Persons with information can contact Army CID Special Agents at 254-287-2722 or the Military Police Desk at 254-288-1170.

You can also anonymously submit information by clicking here.

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