KILLEEN, Texas – Pfc. Vanessa Guillen has been missing for 56 days. Her family says they will not rest until the 20-year-old is back in their arms.
“There’s a saying in the military – ‘Leave no soldier behind.’ We cannot leave Vanessa behind,” said Domingo Garcia, with LULAC.
The search for Guillen is taking to new heights as the reward for information doubles to $50,000 – nearly two months after her disappearance.
“Our goal is to bring her home and to get the answers that the family is seeking answers for,” said Dale Hammerschmidt, Volunteer PIO for findvanessaguillen.com.
The soldier disappeared April 22nd in the parking lot of her Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters at Fort Hood.
“I just wish you guys keep us in your prayers, first and foremost. That’s the most important thing. And we hope to find Vanessa soon,” said Mayra Guillen, Vanessa Guillen’s sister, during a protest on Friday.
Family and friends say they won’t stop protesting and calling for answers until she is found. Family member Ana Guillen says the family doesn’t know much about the investigation.
In a statement, the 3rd Regiment Commander says, “We will maintain our resolve to locate Vanessa Guillen, and will continue our efforts until she is found. We will never quit searching.”
Her disappearance is touching the lives of many in Central Texas and nationwide.
“There’s been a lot of case notoriety with this. The family is determined to see this through to find their daughter and to get answers as to what has happened on Fort Hood. It’s amazing how social media has really come together and has been sharing our message to get Vanessa home,” said Hammerschmidt.
A drive-thru fundraiser is being organized for Saturday. Friends say they hope to raise enough money to help with the many expenses this search is stacking on.
“We’re trying to help support the family as they try and bring their daughter home and get answers as to what happened to her here on Fort Hood. So we are using the proceeds from this particular fundraiser to support the family in their time of need, help cover some of their expenditures and stuff from traveling back and forth for their briefings with CID, and to help bring some more answers as to what happened to Private First Class Vanessa Guillen,” said Hammerschmidt.
Guillen’s family says they will be out protesting every Friday until the 20-year-old is found.
To learn more about Saturday’s fundraiser, you can click HERE.