Houston-area highway renamed for slain U.S. Army soldier Vanessa Guillén

The ceremony comes two years after Houston native Guillén was reported missing.

Family and officials gathered to mark the naming of the Vanessa Guillén Memorial Highway. - Screen Capture / YouTube
Screen Capture / YouTube
Family and officials gathered to mark the naming of the Vanessa Guillén Memorial Highway.
State officials have renamed a section of Texas State Highway 3 after slain U.S. Army Specialist Vanessa Guillén, the latest in a series of commemorations honoring the Mexican American soldier’s legacy, NBC News reports.

The 2020 disappearance and murder of Guillén, who was stationed at Fort Hood in nearby Killeen, shook the nation and led to sweeping changes in how the military justice system handles and prosecutes sexual assault and misconduct within its ranks.

Family and officials gathered Saturday, Oct. 8 on State Highway 3 in Harris County, between the intersections of Interstate Highway 45 and Almeda Genoa Road, to mark the naming of the Vanessa Guillén Memorial Highway, NBC reports. 

The ceremony comes two years after Guillén, a Houston native, was reported missing. She was last seen alive April 22, 2020, and her remains were found near Fort Hood two months later.

The brutal murder of 20-year-old Guillén elicited calls for an investigation from Latino civil rights groups and political figures including Democratic U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro and Sylvia García.

“She could have been any one of our daughters,” García previously told NBC News. “She could have been our niece, our granddaughter, everybody identified with it.”

A September 2020 congressional investigation of Fort Hood cast light on glaring missteps taken at the installation to deal with sexual abuse. Ultimately, 14 senior officers there were fired or suspended for their failures.

On Jan. 1, provisions of the “I Am Vanessa Guillén Act” became law. For the first time in U.S. military history, ranking commanders won't be able to decide whether to prosecute service members accused of serious crimes such as manslaughter, stalking and domestic violence. Instead, independent prosecutors will make that call.

Guillén’s family has sued the U.S. government, seeking $35 million in damages.

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Nina Rangel

Nina Rangel uses nearly 20 years of experience in the foodservice industry to tell the stories of movers and shakers in the food scene in San Antonio. As the Food + Nightlife Editor for the San Antonio Current, she showcases her passion for the Alamo City’s culinary community by promoting local flavors, uncovering...

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