Fort Hood responds to harassment allegations in wake of soldier's death on post

Ana Basaldua
Posted at 7:35 PM, Mar 15, 2023

UPDATE: (5:30 P.M. FRIDAY) – III Corps and Fort Hood command are responding to allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct after a 20-year-old female soldier was found dead Monday on Fort Hood.

Lt. Gen. Sean Bernabe took questions from the media about the claims made by the family of Pvt. Ana Basalduaruiz, who say the trooper was harassed repeatedly by her fellow soldiers and even a superior officer.

"Harassment is unacceptable. We do not tolerate harassment. If anyone has any information about previous or ongoing harassment involving Ana or any soldier, I'd ask them to come forward with information," said Bernabe.

He emphasized that CID, the Army's Criminal Investigation Division, was in charge of looking into Ana's death, and he deferred most questions to them.

"We anticipate they'll [the family] visit Fort Hood in the near future, and we're prepared to receive them and support them throughout their visit," said Bernabe. "We are aware of some stressors in Ana's life, not tied to harassment, and I know CID will investigate those stressors fully as they try to understand the context, circumstances and perhaps the causes of her death."

UPDATE (10:00 A.M. FRIDAY) – The League of United Latin American Citizens says it's calling on the Justice Department to investigate the death of Pvt. Ana Basalduaruiz, who was found dead Monday on Fort Hood.

LULAC officials said in a press conference Friday that the 20-year-old female trooper's death and allegations of repeated sexual harassment warrant an outside investigation by federal authorities.

The Army for the first time yesterday acknowledged it was investigating the claims made by Basalduaruiz's family, which were reported Thursday by ABC News.

A spokesperson for LULAC said the nation's largest Hispanic rights organization would be meeting with Pentagon officials today including a meeting with the general in charge of recruiting for the Army.

They also said the family of the soldier claim she was the victim of repeated sexual harassment by her fellow soldiers and a commanding officer.

The group also brought front and center the murder of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, who was killed on Fort Hood nearly three years ago in April 2020.

LULAC officials made reference to the Army's report in 2021 that Guillen was the victim of repeated sexual harassment and ignored by her superiors.

"We're not here to attack the military, but to assure the safety of our men and women," said David Cruz, a LULAC spokesperson, during the press conference.

UPDATE (2:34 P.M. THURSDAY) – Army investigators have confirmed that a soldier's death on Fort Hood Monday was not the result of foul play.

Officials with the Army Criminal Investigation Division told 25 News, "at this point in the investigation into the death of Pvt. Ana Basalduaruiz no foul play is evident, and will remain under investigation."

The Army still have scant details about the female soldier's death on post including the manner in which she died.

The military did acknowledge harassment claims made by Basalduaruiz's family, which were reported by ABC News.

The 20-year-old from Long Beach, Calif. served as a combat engineer with the 1st Calvary Division since Dec. 2021.

The Army Criminal Investigation Division is looking into the death of a female soldier who died Monday on Fort Hood.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Pvt. Ana Basalduaruiz, and we extend our sympathies to her father, mother, and her sister,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Sullivan, the commander of the 91st Engineer Battalion, about the soldier's death.

Her father wrote a heart wrenching post in Spanish about his daughter, "you stay with me never leave me," along with a video showing the trooper.

Army officials said to 25 News they're "actively investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding" Pvt. Basalduaruiz's death.

The Army provided no details about how the female soldier died other than the day on which it happened.

Mayra Guillén, the sister of murdered Army Spc. Vanessa Guillén, reacted on social media to the trooper's death.

Guillén said will be speaking with Basalduaruiz's family soon, but the death brought back memories of her sister's brutal killing on Fort Hood nearly three years ago.

Basalduaruiz served as a combat engineer with the division for the past 15 months.

Pvt. Ana Basalduaruiz
Pvt. Ana Basalduaruiz died Monday on Fort Hood. The Army Criminal Investigation Division are looking into her death on post.

Officials said they're providing resources to the trooper's family and those whom served with her.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time," Sullivan said. "She was an exceptional teammate that will truly be missed.”