The alibi of a Fort Hood soldier suspected of Vanessa Guillén’s disappearance was undermined by witnesses, phone records, and eventually his own girlfriend’s confession.
The FBI agent’s affidavit filed Thursday in US District Court in Texas details the evidence gathered by investigators in the weeks after the disappearance of Vanessa Guillén, a 20-year-old private from Fort Hood. April 22.
His remains were discovered last Tuesday 25 miles from the base. Spc. Aaron Robinson, 20, the suspect in his disappearance, was fatally shot when investigators approached him that night.
Robinson’s girlfriend Cecily Anne Aguilar, 22, has been charged with serious tampering and mutilation to prevent an investigation.
Robinson had come under immediate scrutiny, the affidavit says. He was known to have been one of the last people to see Guillén, and the last outgoing text message on his phone was for him.
Interrogated on April 28 by investigators from the Army Criminal Investigation Command, Robinson said that he had left work directly on April 22 at the off-post residence in Killeen that he shared with his girlfriend, Cecily Aguilar, and she told the investigators who had been with him all night.
However, on May 18, new information came to light: Two witnesses said that on April 22 they had seen Robinson remove a “hard box” with large wheels from the Fort Hood weapons room where he worked. They said he loaded it into his vehicle and left.
On May 19, Robinson consented to a search of his mobile phone records. They revealed that he had called Aguilar several times on the night of April 22 and until the next morning. The calls lasted more than a minute.
When asked why Robinson would call her if they were both home, Aguilar said she couldn’t find her phone and asked Robinson to call so she could find him.
But a more detailed analysis of the phone records of both parties found that Robinson’s phone had been near the Leon River in Bell County, 40 miles east of Fort Hood, for about two hours early in the morning of March 23. April. Aguilar’s phone was in the same area on April 23 and again on April 26.
In a second interview, Aguilar allegedly admitted that he had been lying about being home all night. She said that she and Robinson had driven to a park in Belton on April 22 to “stargaze.” Belton is located between Killeen and the Leon River area where the phones were heard.
Aguilar changes his story again
On June 21, search engines at the Leon river site found a disturbed area of land and “what appeared to be the burned remains of a plastic bag,” the affidavit said. No human remains were found that day, but on June 30, contractors working at a nearby fence informed police authorities of a suspicious find. Searchers returned to the river and found “scattered human remains that appeared to have been placed in a concrete-like substance and buried,” the affidavit said.
On the night of June 30, hours after the discovery of the remains, Aguilar was interviewed again. This time he admitted his participation in the disappearance of Guillén. Your account:
• On the afternoon of April 22 or early on the morning of April 23, Robinson picked up Aguilar at the gas station where he worked and took her to a site near the Leon River. He accompanied her to the forest where he had left a plastic box with wheels. She opened it and showed a dead woman whom Aguilar later identified as Vanessa Guillén. She said Robinson admitted to fatally hitting her with a hammer.
• Robinson and Aguilar then removed the limbs and head from the torso with an “ax or hatchet and a machete knife.” They attempted to burn the remains, and then buried the parts in three holes.
• A few days later, the two returned to the site with a bag of cement. They unearthed the remains, tried again to burn them, then buried them again and covered the holes with cement-mixed concrete.
At the time the remains were discovered, Robinson had been confined to his headquarters at Fort Hood for an unspecified period of time. On the night of June 30, he left the barracks.
Under the direction of investigators, Aguilar called Robinson. He texted her with links to news articles about the discovery of the remains and said, “Baby, they found pieces, they found pieces.”
Later that night, officers found Robinson on foot in a Killeen neighborhood. As they approached him, he shot himself in the head. He was pronounced dead in a hospital early Wednesday morning.
Guillén’s family, through her lawyer, has stated that the young woman intended to report Robinson’s sexual harassment. Investigators say they have found no other evidence of such harassment.
Robinson reportedly denied harassing Guillén, but told investigators that he intended to report him to his superiors for his relationship with a married woman: Aguilar, the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood soldier.