50 suicides and 11 homicides, all investigated in the last five years. This Fort Hood military base seems to struggle with homicide, suicide, and sexual assault among its troops. In 2020, at least 39 soldiers were either murdered, killed themselves, or went missing; 11 of the deaths remained unresolved.
Now Ana Basaldua Ruiz, a 20-year-old female soldier, has been found dead at the Fort Hood military base. According to the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division, “at this point in the investigation into the death of Pvt. Ana Basaldua Ruiz, no foul play is evident, and will remain under investigation.”. However, Ana’s parents are saying she repeatedly complained, only weeks before her death, about recurrent sexual harassment by other service members which, include one of her superiors.
Although the army’s release did not include any additional information about the details of her death, her parents say she was found dead in a maintenance bay, and “it was indicated that her death was a suicide.” However, it has happened before that the wife of a dead Fort Hood soldier has believed the suicide route to be a cover-up.
In 2016, Devin Schuette, a Fort Hood soldier, was found dead in his truck with a hose leading from the exhaust pipe into the car after a three-day disappearance. His death was ruled a suicide, which his wife finds unlikely because of multiple pieces of evidence proving otherwise. Like the fact that the “blanket stuffed around the window to hold the pipe in place had been doused in Schuette’s own blood, and Schuette was found with nine stab wounds across his body, including his forearm and his left hand.” The day before Schuette was found dead, a man walking around an investigated area during a search party was found with blood all over his face. The man was apparently extremely intoxicated, with blood that didn’t look like his on his face, saying he was looking for his friend and his truck. The day after, Schuette is allegedly found in his truck five miles away from the search party by the lieutenant, who gets there before his wife, who says she got a gun pulled on her by one of the officers when she tried to approach the area. And she had been told by the warden that the man from the day before was “a cattle rancher looking for cows and had been injured by a tree branch.”
Another death that shook the public was Vanessa Guillén’s death in 2020, one of the many females at the base who complained of sexual harassment. Before going missing, she told her family and friends she had been sexually harassed by a supervisor. Two months after her disappearance, partial human remains were found along the river and identified as hers. Specialist Corporal Aaron Robinson was suspected of killing her. However, he shot himself when police moved to arrest him, and his girlfriend confessed to helping him dispose of the body.
After her death, an investigation revealed that the “command climate at Fort Hood created a permissive environment for sexual assault and sexual harassment,” and 14 base leaders were removed in December 2020. However, this environment seems to still be alive since, in 2022, sexual assault claims were still being heard, and at least one soldier was claimed to be linked to several of them.
The biggest proof, however, was seen only several days ago when combat engineer Pvt. Ana Basaldua Ruiz was found dead at the Fort Hood military base after claims of sexual assault with “no evidence of foul play.”