The US military is investigating the death of a soldier at a Texas Army post that has struggled with homicide, suicide, and se*ual assault among its troops in recent years.
Fort Hood officials said Wednesday that Pvt. Ana Basaldua Ruiz, a combat engineer who spent 15 months with the 1st Cavalry Division, died on Monday.
Basaldua Ruiz, 20, of Long Beach, California, joined the Army in July 2021 and had been assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division since December of that year, according to NBC News.
Officials at the military installation 150 miles southwest of Dallas initially did not release further information about Basaldua Ruiz or the circumstances surrounding her death. In a statement, they said her family would be given support and “all releasable information.”
The Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division confirmed that “at this point in the investigation into the death of Pvt. Ana Basaldua Ruiz, no foul play is evident, and will remain under investigation,” according to a Thursday update from Fort Hood.
“Army CID will continue to conduct a thorough investigation and gather all evidence and facts to determine what happened. Information about potential harassment will be addressed and thoroughly investigated “In the statement, the base stated.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) held a news conference Friday at Fort Hood’s main gate, demanding that the FBI investigate Basaldua Ruiz’s death.
LULAC leaders said the soldier’s parents stated their daughter had complained about repeated se*ual harassment by other service members, including one of her superiors.
After the disappearance from the base of 20-year-old soldier Vanessa Guillén, whose remains were discovered two months later, Fort Hood came under intense scrutiny in 2020. On the day Guillén’s remains were discovered, a fellow soldier suspected of her murder committed suicide.
Later, the soldier’s girlfriend pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to murder and three counts of making a false statement.
Guillén’s family claimed she was harassed and assaulted at Fort Hood, sparking a social media movement of former and active service members who used the hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillen to share their own stories.
In 2021, state and federal lawmakers passed legislation honoring Guillén, stripping commanders of some authority and giving survivors more options for reporting abuse.
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