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Civilian suspect in Vanessa Guillen case makes first federal court appearance

 Cecily Anne Aguilar
Posted at 12:19 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 17:21:07-04

WACO, TX — The second suspect in the disappearance of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, 22-year-old Cecily Ann Aguilar, made her first appearance in federal court in Waco on Monday.

The appearance was over a Zoom video call.

Aguilar is charged with conspiracy to hide and destroy evidence. Upon conviction, she faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.

U.S. Judge Jeffery Manske set Aguilar's preliminary hearing for July 14 at 9:30 AM.

According to the affidavit, Aguilar helped the other suspect, Spc. Aaron Robinson, dismember Guillen's body and attempt to burn it after she was bludgeoned to death by Spc. Robinson.

An updated version of the criminal complaint obtained by ABC News gives more details about the info and cooperation Aguilar provided to the FBI.

According to the complaint, Aguilar and Robinson burned their clothes after disposing of Guillen’s body, and returned to the site four days later to uncover the remains and break them down more.

On June 30, investigators had Aguilar call Robinson as they listened in and recorded. Robinson didn’t deny any of the alleged crimes, and said to her “baby, they found pieces” referring to the discovery of remains.

The criminal complaint also says Aguilar assisted law enforcement locate Robinson before he was confronted and killed himself.

Guillen was last seen on April 22. The Army CID was notified on April 23 that she was missing.

The affidavit says during an interview, witnesses told investigators that on April 22, they saw Robinson pulling a large "tough box" with wheels, that appeared to be heavy with weight out of the arms room where Robinson worked. The two saw him put the box in his vehicle and drive away.

On May 19, Robinson consented to a search of his phone. A review showed Robinson called Aguilar multiple times during the night of April 22 and as late as 3:30 a.m. on April 23. He also received calls from Aguilar throughout the day.

Aguilar was interviewed on June 19. She told authorities she was with Robinson all night. When asked why Robinson would call her after midnight if they were in the same residence, she said she could not find her phone.

During a re-interview, Aguilar told authorities her previous statements were a lie. She said she did leave her residence because she likes to cope with long drives. She said she was with Robinson on the night of April 22 where they took a long drive to a park in Belton to look at the stars. She said they went home after going to the park.

During another interview on June 30, the same day human remains were found at the Leon River, Aguilar admitted to authorities that Robinson told her that he had hit a female soldier in the head with a hammer multiple times in the arms room killing her on Fort Hood. Robinson then put her in a box and moved the box to a location near the Leon River.

She said on the evening of April 22, Robinson picked up Aguilar at a gas station she worked at and took her to a site near the Leon River and near a bridge. A box with wheels and handles was already at the site. Aguilar told authorities Robinson walked her over to the woods and opened the box, which had a dead female inside.

Aguilar, on a later date, identified the body as Vanessa Guillen.

To more easily dispose of and conceal the body, Robinson and Aguilar dismembered the female's body. They used a hatchet or ax and a machete type knife and removed the limbs and head from the body.

The two attempted to burn the body, however it would not burn completely. They placed her body in several spots.

Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, along with the U.S. Marshals, Killeen Police Department, and the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force were attempting to locate Robinson on June 30 when he fled the post.

Robinson was located walking in the 4700 block of East Rancier Avenue. As officers attempted to make contact him, he produced a weapon and committed suicide by shooting himself.