In Waco today, a federal grand jury indicted 22-year-old Cecily Aguilar in connection with the disappearance of U.S. Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash, FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division, and U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Command (USACID) Special Agent in Charge Vanessa Neff at Fort Hood.
The federal grand jury indictment charges Aguilar with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence and two substantive counts of tampering with evidence. Aguilar faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each count upon conviction.
According to court records, U.S. Army Specialist Aaron Robinson told Aguilar that he killed a female soldier by striking her in the head with a hammer while on Ft. Hood on April 22, 2020. Robinson further admitted to Aguilar that he transferred the woman’s body off of Ft. Hood to a remote site in Bell County. Subsequently, Robinson enlisted the help of Aguilar in disposing of the victim’s body. At a later time Aguilar recognized the deceased, whom she helped Robinson mutilate and dispose of, as Vanessa Guillen.
The indictment alleges that from April 22, 2020, through July 1, 2020, Aguilar conspired with Robinson to corruptly alter, destroy, mutilate and conceal evidence, including the victim’s body in order to prevent Robinson from being charged with and prosecuted for any crime. The indictment also alleges that on April 23, 2020, and on April 26, 2020, Aguilar tampered with evidence in this case, including the victim’s body, to impair its integrity and availability for use in an official proceeding.
During a previously scheduled court hearing in Waco today, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske arraigned Aguilar on the indictment now pending against her. A not-guilty plea was entered by Aguilar’s counsel. Judge Manske also ordered that Aguilar remain in federal custody until further notice. No further court dates have been scheduled.
Agents and investigators from USACID, FBI, Texas Rangers, Bell County Sheriff’s Office, Killeen Police Department, Belton Police Department, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Marshals Service are continuing to investigate this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Frazier and Greg Gloff are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.