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1 suspect dead, 1 arrested in apparent death of missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen

Vanessa Guillen
ABC News
Murdered soldier Vanessa Guillen from Fort Hood, Texas.

KILLEEN, Texas -- A military suspect who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and a civilian suspect arrested by the Texas Rangers are connected to the disappearance and apparent death of missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen, according to ABC affiliate KTRK.

The military suspect was a junior soldier who fled Fort Hood Tuesday night. He later killed himself after police confronted him walking along a busy thoroughfare in Killeen, a few miles from the base, around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

"As officers attempted to make contact with the suspect, the suspect displayed a weapon and discharged it toward himself. The suspect succumbed from a self-inflicted gunshot wound," the Killeen Police Department said in a statement.

The civilian suspect, who has also not been identified, is the estranged wife of a former soldier from Fort Hood. Authorities said she is in Bell County Jail and will be charged in the case.

"We have made significant progress in this tragic situation and are doing everything possible to get to the truth and bring answers to the family of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen," Army Criminal Investigation Division spokesman Chris Grey said.

These developments came just hours after investigators discovered the partial remains of a body in a shallow grave near the Leon River in rural Bell County, where Killeen is located.

While authorities have not yet positively identified the remains, Texas EquuSearch director and founder Tim Miller, who lead the search effort for Guillen, told ABC affiliate KTRK that "the search for Vanessa is now over."

Guillen's family said at a news conference Wednesday that they also believe the remains belong to their missing loved one. Fort Hood officials had told the family last week that they suspected foul play.

Guillen, 20, was last seen in the parking lot of her barracks at the Texas Army base April 22.

Authorities discovered the remains thought to be hers about 26 miles from the site where on June 19 investigators found the body of Pvt. 2nd Class Gregory Wedel-Morales, who went missing last year while driving in Killeen.

He was scheduled to be discharged within days of his disappearance, the Army said.

It's unclear whether there's a connection between Guillen and Wedel-Morales, but Army investigators have said there is "no credible information" linking the cases.

Foul play is also suspected in Wedel-Morales' death, and the Army is offering a $25,000 reward for information. The Army, League of United Latin American Citizens and Houston rapper Baby Bash have pooled together a $55,000 reward for information on Guillen's disappearance.

Before Guillen went missing, she told her family that she was being sexually harassed by one of her sergeants at Fort Hood. The sergeant wasn't identified.

After she went missing in April, her car keys, room key, identification card and wallet were found in an armory room where she was working that day.

"Our hearts are broken. We feel pain, frustration and devastation. This shouldn't have happened. We demand a congressional investigation. We demand the truth," attorney Natalie Khawam said in a statement. "If this could happen to Vanessa, this can happen to any one of our sisters, daughters and mothers. There's no reason why a young beautiful girl who joined the Army, to honorably serve our country, should be in a shallow grave near on our own turf."

Article Topic Follows: Texas

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