Texas Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia hosted a virtual press conference at 2 p.m. Tuesday with the family of missing Fort Hood Soldier Vanessa Guillen.
National President of the League of United Latin American Citizens Domingo Garcia also joined the press conference. During the conference he announced a $25,000 dollar reward for information in Vanessa's case. This is in addition to the Army's reward. It is for any information leading to Vanessa's whereabouts and, or for information regarding the arrest, the indictment of anyone involved in her disappearance. Domingo said the information will be kept confidential.
"There is a saying in the military. We leave no soldier behind. We cannot leave Vanessa behind. We cannot leave her family behind. We have to stand up for them. This young lady put on the uniform to serve our country. The least we can do is find out where she is now," Domingo said.
During the press conference, we also heard from Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia. She said her office requested a congressional inquiry with the Department of Defense. She said they have also reached out to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to amplify the story and assist.
Garcia mentioned reaching out to the House Armed Services Committee and House leadership to make sure the Army gets the resources and dollars it needs to do a full investigation to find Vanessa.
"Vanessa wanted to serve her country. Never could her mother have imagined that when she entrusted her daughter to the Army that something like this would happen," Congresswoman Garcia said.
Congresswoman Garcia said she has been in touch with Col. Overland on post, to learn more about the case and get a concrete deadline about what they have been doing to find Vanessa.
The sexual assault claims surrounding the case were also addressed during the press conference. Congresswoman Garcia called the assault claims very serious and they need to make sure those concerns are addressed. She said the Col. told her he formed his own internal investigative group to look at every allegation related to sexual assault or sexual harassment in this case. She is hopeful it will shed more light on these questions.
"We must get down to the bottom of this. We need answers because the reality is Vanessa was on the base. This should have never have happened," Congresswoman Garcia said.