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How Did Aaron David Robinson Die?

September 11, 2020
4 min read

A Fort Hood soldier named Vanessa Guillen was last seen on April 22, 2020. A few days later, her body was discovered 20 miles away from the military base of Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. The story made national headlines and also sparked a debate on the sexual harassment that soldiers, especially women, face in the armed forces. It even caught the attention of President Trump. An interesting facet of the case is that days before her disappearance, Vanessa had told her family about instances of sexual abuse she had faced in the military. Could this have eventually led to her death? ABC, in their production ‘20/20: Case of Vanessa Guillen,’ delves deeper into the details.

Aaron David Robinson: Cause of Death

Before answering how Aaron David Robinson passed away, let us discuss his involvement in the case. You see, he was the primary suspect in the disappearance and death of Vanessa. Aaron himself was a junior officer on active duty and was just 20 years old. He was assigned to Alpha Company of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. He had joined the US Army in 2017, and he hailed from Calumet City, Illinois. He was a combat engineer. 

Vanessa’s family claimed that the victim was planning to file a sexual harassment complaint against Robinson and that he killed her one day before she planned on doing it. Authorities are also working on investigating this angle of the case, but have not been able to find conclusive evidence on the matter so far. Therefore, an official motive is yet to be established. According to cell phone records, he was also one of the last people to be in touch with the victim. A witness also stated that Specialist Guillen had gone to the arms room where Specialist Robinson worked to confirm details for some weapons and equipment.

However, when officials approached Specialist Robinson after Vanessa’s body was found, he killed himself on July 1, 2020. Damon Phelps, who works in the US Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, said this at a press conference as well— “While law enforcement agencies attempted to make contact with the suspect in Killeen, Texas, Specialist Robinson displayed a weapon and took his own life.”

Robinson’s girlfriend, 22-year-old Cecily Aguilar, is also under suspicion. Initially, Aguilar was adamant that she had spent the whole night with Robinson on April 22, 2012, but later, she admitted that her boyfriend had told her about the crime. He had bludgeoned Vanessa to death with a hammer in the armory. He then proceeded to move her body to a remote site. In fact, Vanessa’s car and barracks keys, ID card, and wallet were all discovered in the armory. Moreover, when Robinson showed Cecily the body, she recognized it as Specialist Guillen.

Then, according to the affidavit, this is what transpired— “Spc. Robinson then placed her in a box and moved the box to a location near the Leon River. To more easily dispose of and to conceal the body of the dead female, Spc. Robinson and Aguilar proceeded to dismember the dead female’s body. They used a hatchet or ax and a machete type knife. They removed the limbs and the head from the body. Spc. Robinson and Aguilar attempted to burn the body; however, the body would not burn completely. They placed the dead female in three separate holes and covered up the remains.”

Cecily Aguilar is a civilian. She has been charged with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. 

Read More: Where is Cecily Aguilar Now?

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