Nearly two months since a U.S. Army soldier went missing on a military base in Texas, actress Salma Hayek, a congresswoman and a Latino advocacy organization have joined an effort to keep public attention on the case.
Private First Class Vanessa Guillen, 20, was last seen at a parking lot at Fort Hood, where she was stationed, on April 22. Officials said that “her car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet” were found in the armory room where she was working on the day she disappeared.
Guillen, who was wearing a black T-shirt when she was last seen, is of Hispanic descent, is 5 feet, 2 inches tall, and weighs 126 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes.
Since May 1, Guillen’s family has organized at least three rallies outside Fort Hood in order to keep her case in the spotlight, KCEN-TV, NBC’s affiliate in Temple, Texas, reported.
Actress Salma Hayek joined the effort this week by posting a message on Instagram saying, “Bring back Vanessa… . We won’t stop until you come back.”
Hayek also pledged to “put Vanessa’s photo on my stories everyday until she is found.”
“It’s been nearly 50 days since #VanessaGuillen has been seen. My team is committed to the movement to #FindVanessa,” wrote another elected official, State Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Texas, on a Facebook post.
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) said it launched “an extensive search” in April.
But Guillen’s family said they need more information.
“This happened inside a federal building and we’re still not getting answers,” said Mayra Guillen, Vanessa’s older sister, at a press conference Wednesday after military authorities provided updates on the search.
Military officials said in a statement that the “search continues both on and off Fort Hood by multiple military and civilian law enforcement agencies,” including CID, FBI and other local authorities.
“Numerous special agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command have frequently called and met with members of the Guillen family from the date she was first reported missing,” including Mayra Guillen and Gloria Guillen, Vanessa’s mother, according to military authorities.
At least 500 soldiers were initially deployed on a daily basis to search on foot in training areas, barracks and across the installation, the statement said, adding that more targeted searches are now ongoing with smaller groups of soldiers. Additionally, a military aircraft “provided more than 100 hours of flight time to the search both on and off the installation.”
Mayra Guillen said that she hasn’t “seen a flight log or anything that proves to me that they are actually searching.”
Guillen’s family is calling for “a bigger agency such as the FBI,” which is already involved in the search, to take over the investigation.