FBI: Girlfriend helped Calumet City man dismember, bury missing female soldier in Texas
Army Spc. Aaron David Robinson, a former Thornton Fractional North High School football player, killed himself after the police closed in.
The girlfriend of a soldier from Calumet City appeared before a judge Monday on charges she helped him dismember and bury a female soldier he killed with a hammer on an Army base in Texas.
The suspected killer — Army Spc. Aaron David Robinson — shot himself to death July 1 as police were about to arrest him for killing Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood in a case that’s captured national attention.
Guillen’s family believes Robinson killed her to keep her from filing a sexual harassment complaint against him.
On Monday, Robinson’s girlfriend Cecily Aguilar told a federal judge in Texas she understood the charge she faces: tampering with evidence. “Yeah, sure,” she said, according to KCEN-TV.
Robinson, 20, played varsity football for Thornton Fractional North High School before he joined the Army in 2017. He was a combat engineer at Fort Hood.
Guillen, 20, was a Houston native stationed at the base.
Aguilar, 22, is a civilian who was living in Killeen, Texas, near the base.
At a news conference last week, a lawyer for Guillen’s family said she was “very creeped out” after Robinson watched her in a locker room after she took a shower on the base.
“We believe that Vanessa told him that she was reporting him, and that’s why he bludgeoned her,” attorney Natalie Khawam said.
Guillen’s family is asking for federal legislation to improve how the military deals with sexual harassment.
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Army officials said last week that they didn’t have any complaints that Guillen was sexually harassed but were investigating.
After Guillen went missing April 22, the hashtag #IamVanessaGuillen appeared on social media, putting a focus on soldiers’ stories of sexual harassment. On Friday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said of her case: “We owe it to those who put on the uniform, and to their families, to put an end to sexual harassment and assault in the military, and hold perpetrators accountable.”
According to the FBI, Robinson struck Guillen in the head with a hammer in a weapons room where she was working, then moved her body from the base in a trunk with wheels. The FBI said he picked up Aguilar at the gas station where she worked, and they drove to the Leon River about 20 miles east of the base.
Aguilar is accused of helping Robinson dismember the body with a machete and other tools. They tried to burn the remains before burying them in three shallow graves and, days later, returned and put concrete in the graves, according to the FBI.
Investigators learned Robinson and Aguilar were together on the bank of the Leon River based on their cellphone data.
Guillen’s remains were found on the riverbank June 30.
“Baby they found pieces, they found pieces,” Robinson warned Aguilar in a call after he learned news outlets were reporting remains were unearthed.
After first saying she didn’t know anything about Guillen’s disappearance, Aguilar confessed to helping bury the body, but Robinson fled, fatally shooting himself at about 1:30 a.m. July 1 when police approached him on a street in Killeen, officials said.