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Texas Highway Renamed After Murdered Fort Hood Soldier Vanessa Guillén

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A portion of Highway 3 near Monroe Road and the Gulf Freeway has been dedicated in honor of the slain Houston native. | Image by KHOU11

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A portion of a state highway in Harris County will be renamed after slain U.S. Army specialist and Houston native Vanessa Guillén, just one of a series of upcoming commemorations to honor her legacy.

Family and officials gathered on State Highway 3 in Harris County on Saturday, between the intersections of Interstate Highway 45 and Almeda Genoa Road, to reveal the signage for Vanessa Guillén Memorial Highway. 

State Sen. Carol Alvarado (D) and state Rep. Christina Morales (D) were in attendance at the ceremony. 

“While many of us did not have the honor of knowing Vanessa, her story has had a great impact on our community and the nation. The dedication of this highway will ensure that Vanessa’s memory will continue to shine bright in Harris County,” said Alvarado.

The location of the highway holds a special place for Guillén’s family.

“This is where I get my coffee every morning,” Guillén’s sister Mayra wrote in a tweet. “What are the odds? Love you sis.”

In addition to the stretch of highway named in her honor, the late soldier will be commemorated by twenty murals created by local artists, according to ABC13 Houston.

Additionally, Netflix has announced that a documentary based on Guillén’s life will air later this year.

I Am Vanessa Guillén” will show how Guillén went from a 20-year-old Houston woman with aspirations of a distinguished military career to being murdered in April 2020.

Guillén, stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, was last seen alive on April 22, 2020. Her dismembered remains were found ten weeks later near Leon River in Bell County.

The young soldier was allegedly killed by a junior soldier, Aaron David Robinson, inside a Fort Hood arms room. Robinson was allegedly aided by his girlfriend, Cecily Anne Aguilar, in dismembering Guillén.

Robinson shot and killed himself after investigations led police to his location in Killeen, Texas.

Aguilar has been charged with second-degree felony tampering/fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair a human corpse and conspiracy to tamper with evidence. Her trial is set to begin in January 2023. 

Guillén’s family has claimed that she was sexually harassed by a superior in the military before her death but was too afraid to report it and had suicidal thoughts as she struggled to cope.

The killing of Guillén led to widescale changes in how the military protects victims of sexual violence.

In August, Guillén’s family filed a lawsuit seeking $35 million in damages from the U.S. government.

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