HOUSTON — Nearly two months after vanishing from Fort Hood, a Texas lawmaker is joining in the search for a missing Houston soldier.
Vanessa Guillen has been missing since April.
Texas 29th Congressional District Rep. Sylvia Garcia, with the help of LULAC, announced on Tuesday an additional $25,000 reward for any information that helps find her.
The money now brings the total reward to $50,000.
Vanessa’s mother, Gloria, cried for her daughter during a virtual press conference.
“For the love of God,” Gloria said. “I beg you to help me. I can’t take it anymore. I can’t sleep and I am sick.”
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The 20-year-old soldier was last seen on April 22.
Her cell phone has not been found but the rest of her belongings were found on the post.
Mayra Guillen, Vanessa’s sister said, “How can we not find one of our own? How can they not find one of their own?”
Vanessa’s family claims she disappeared after telling them she had been sexually assaulted. Investigators say they’ve found no credible information that she was attacked.
Garcia joined her family in a call for action.
“We need to get to the bottom of this,” Garcia said. “We need to make sure that we look at every single complaint, every single allegation that is being made in this case and that we get to the bottom of it.”
Texas EquuSearch crews will fly to Fort Hood Wednesday to assist in the search effort.
“I’ve been on over 2,000 of these cases and I can say this doesn’t look good,” Texas EquuSearch founder Tim Miller said.
Family members hope Miller’s expertise locating the missing may finally bring answers to their questions.
“You know we’ve looked at it close, how it can happen inside an Army base and nobody see anything, no cameras see anything?” Miller said. “How she could just vanish, you know? It’s hard to wrap my head around it. But we’ll let investigators work on that.”
Crews will expand the area of the search to include bodies of water during their effort.
Outside of Fort Hood, supporters continue to hold vigils and protests demanding answers.
“There’s a saying in the military, ‘We leave no soldier behind.’ We cannot leave Vanessa behind. We cannot leave her family behind," Domingo Garcia with LULAC said.
They all want to see a more transparent investigation.
Mayra said all the Chavez High School grad wanted to do was serve this country.
“This past June 10, it’s been two years that she’s been serving for our country and I just don’t find it fair that they, whoever this is, took advantage of her, took her liberty away,” she said.
Anyone with any information can call LULAC at 214-941-8300.
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