The army investigates the death of another soldier who complained of sexual harassment at Fort Hood, some three years after the similar death of Vanessa Guillén.
According to the investigators, no third-party fault is suspected when the 21-year-old private died on March 13 Ana Fernanda Basaldua Ruiza combat engineer who has served with the division within the past 15 months, abc news reports.
The victim’s mother says she told her last month that she was being “harassed” by an army commander and others.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of PV2 Ana Basalduaruiz and extend our condolences to her father, mother and sister,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Sullivan, commander of the 91st Engineer Battalion. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time. She was an exceptional teammate who we will truly miss.”
Relatives of the 21-year-old were told Ana died by suicide, but few details were shared with the family. Ana’s mother, Alejandra Ruiz Zarco, says Ana told her last month that an army commander was “harassing her” and that she was allegedly receiving constant sexual advances from other people.
Fort Hood says, “Army CID will continue to conduct a thorough investigation and gather all evidence and facts to ensure they figure out exactly what happened. Information related to possible harassment will be fully addressed and investigated.”
The victim’s death mirrors that of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillén, who was also molested and killed at Fort Hood
Basalduaruiz’s story is disturbingly reminiscent of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillén, who was murdered on the same basis after being similarly molested by another soldier.
This soldier ended up killing himself while being pursued by the police. A report released almost a year after Guillén’s death confirmed that she had been sexually assaulted by her boss.
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According to her aunt Itzi Ortega, an autopsy will be performed on Basalduaruiz’s body on Thursday.
The family of Pvt. Ana Basalduaruiz, 21, a combat engineer who died at Fort Hood, Texas, is demanding answers after US Army investigators said no foul play was apparent.
Fort Hood is the same base where Vanessa Guillén was assassinated in 2020.
Women are sexual… https://t.co/FOerZ0fZi6 pic.twitter.com/b3zKyOda0w
— Ryan Shead (@RyanShead) March 17, 2023
Her family said they will not receive any information about her death until an investigation into the incident is complete.
US Department of Defense reports increase in women reporting sexual harassment from 2018 to 2021
The Department of Defense reported that 29 percent of women and 7 percent of men experienced sexual harassment in fiscal 2021.
That’s an increase from the last report for fiscal 2018, where 24 percent of women said they had dealt with sexual harassment.
Her aunt said Basalduaruiz joined the military in 2020 but didn’t start basic training until August 2022 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ABC News reports.
Meanwhile, Vanessa Guillén’s sister Mayra has reported on the death of Basalduaruiz Twitterand said she would speak to the family soon.
“I am aware of the death of Ana Basaldua in Fort Hood, TX. May she rest in peace. She was only 21 years old… I’ll be speaking to the family soon, I find it very sensitive to talk about something I’m not fully aware of yet and that’s also very triggering for me… I need to gather my thoughts and then I can share them,” she said in a tweet.