The family of Vanessa Guillén sat down with Gloria Estefan on her show and said they still have many questions regarding her murder.
In an emotional episode of “Red Table Talk: The Estefans,” Vanessa Guillén‘s mom said she believes her daughter’s death was a cover-up of severe problems at the Fort Hood base. The episode airs on Wednesday, Oct. 28, on Facebook, and is hosted by singer Gloria Estefan, her daughter Emily Estefan and her niece Lili Estefan, and featured Vanessa’s mother Gloria Guillén and her sisters Mayra and Lupe.
RELATED: The Fight for Justice for Vanessa Guillen Is Just Starting — and Her Family Is on the Front Lines
The women sat down at Gloria Estefan’s home in Miami to discuss the sexual harassment the 20-year-old experienced as a soldier at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, the events that led to her murder, and the unanswered questions they have for army officials.
“We still don’t even know the truth. Why would they do this to an innocent person? … killed her and after she’s killed, just do all that stuff to her (that) I can’t even say,” Lupe said.
“Why? That’s my question every single day, why? Why? Why her? And I ask to God: ‘¿Por qué ella? ¿Por qué de todos los que existimos, por qué le hicieron eso a ella?’ (Why her? Out of everyone in existence, why did they do that to her?),” she added.
The episode, which has Spanish and English subtitles, was first teased in September, back when the Guillén family and their lawyer Natalie Khawam worked with Congress members to create significant change at Fort Hood. Last month, the “I am Vanessa Guillen Act” was introduced in Congress.
Army officials have since made sweeping changes at the base, including how service members can more directly report any abuse and how quicker action is taken when a service member does not report for duty. However, allegations of continued chaos and abuse remain at Fort Hood.
Gloria Estefan said she felt it was important to talk to the Guillén family to bring awareness to Vanessa’s story and because her father also served in the army.
Vanessa’s mother said her daughter wanted to enlist at a very young age but that she pleaded with her not to join.
“‘It’s a mission I must fulfill,'” Gloria Guillén recalls her daughter saying. “I told her ‘for the love of God don’t enlist because my mother’s intuition tells me it won’t go well.'”
Gloria Guillén said that as soon as her daughter joined the army in December 2018, she quickly excelled in her class. Gloria Guillén said those were the happiest times in her life. However, by early this year, her mother noticed a change. She said she noticed Vanessa was losing weight and had bags under her eyes. That is when she said Vanessa finally disclosed to her that she was sexually harassed at Fort Hood. Gloria Guillén also shared that her daughter did report the abuse to police but that they did not believe her.
Vanessa went missing on April 22, and her dismembered and burned body was discovered on June 30. Her killer, a fellow soldier, committed suicide on July 1. However, Vanessa’s mother says that she doesn’t believe her killer killed himself but alleges he was murdered to keep him from speaking out.
Gloria Guillén also said she doesn’t believe her daughter was murdered how officials told her. “It was all a cover-up!” she said.
Click here to watch the entire episode.