Military rules Vanessa Guillen's death to be in the line of duty, eligible for benefits


Months after her disappearance and death, Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen's death has been ruled that it happened in the Line of Duty.

Fort Hood soldier Spc. Vanessa Guillen vanished in April but her remains were not found until the end of June.

Guillen, 20, was last seen in the parking lot of her Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters, 3rd Cavalry Regiment on the Fort Hood, Texas Army base.

Her car keys, barracks' room key, ID and wallet were all found in the armory.

Investigators determined Guillen had been bludgeoned with a hammer by Aaron Robinson. Reports say Robinson and Guillen argued in the armory where both worked after she discovered he was allegedly having an affair with the estranged wife of a former soldier.

Robinson allegedly concealed her body in a Pelican case stored in the armory room and later disposed of her body and the case near the Leon River, with help from his married girlfriend Cecily Aguilar, the woman arrested in connection with Guillen's disappearance.

When police moved in to arrest Robinson for the crime, he killed himself before they captured him.

Guillen's family said she told them she had been sexually harassed at Fort Hood, but Army officials said previously they had no "credible information" about those allegations.

"She was afraid to (report it) because the sexual harassment was coming from her superiors, so her concern was the retaliation, being blackballed,” family attorney Natalie Khawam said. “We believe the person that killed her is that person that sexually harassed her.”

With Guillen's death now considered in to be the Line of Duty, it clears the way for her family to receive specific military death benefits - notably, a funeral with full military honors.

But a statement from Fort Hood specifies others benefits the family will receive including Guillen's final pay, the payout from her Group Life Insurance policy, and monetary help with final funeral expenses.