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Vanessa Guillen's murder sheds new light on sexual harassment within U.S. Military

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Vanessa Guillen. (Image credit: U.S. Army)

Monday, officials at Fort Hood confirmed 20-year-old Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen's remains were found in Bell County last week.

Guillen was last seen April 22nd on base at Fort Hood.

Officials say they've identified two suspects in the case; Specialist Aaron David Robinson and his girlfriend, civilian Cecily Aguilar.

An arrest affidavit says Aguilar admitted to authorities that Robinson said he'd killed a female soldier on base after hitting her multiple times in the head with a hammer.

Robinson took his own life as authorities zeroed in on Guillen's remains last week, and Aguilar remains in jail with federal charges in connection to Guillen's disappearance.

Guillen's family says Robinson had been sexually harassing Guillen during her time in the Army and she planned to file a claim against him.

According to Rose Luna with the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, this is a common occurrence among members of the military.

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"What happens with women who do come forward whether in military or even in civilian world is that they're not believed or too afraid to say anything because nothing's going to happen," says Luna.

The latest data from the Department of Defense shows the number of sexual assault claims within the military have risen throughout the years.

In 2019, there were more than 6,200 reports of sexual assault—the majority of which were made by women.

Fort Hood officials have denied receiving reports of sexual harassment against Robinson—but say they have now launched an investigation into these claims.

"The criminal investigation has not found a link to incidents of sexual harassment," say Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, the top command of Fort Hood.

Luna tells CBS Austin there needs to be a more thorough investigation into the culture of the U.S. Military—and why the environment allows service men and women to be sexually assault, abused and in Guillen's case—murdered.

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