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Army announces new investigation into Vanessa Guillén case as senior Fort Hood official removed from post

Army launches new Fort Hood investigation
Fort Hood commander removed as Army begins new probe into Vanessa Guillen case 01:27

The Army has named a four-star general to investigate how leadership at Fort Hood handled Specialist Vanessa Guillén's reports of sexual harassment and her eventual disappearance and death, Army officials told CBS News. Guillén's remains were found about two months after she disappeared in April, and she is believed to have been killed by a fellow soldier who later died by suicide

General John Murray, head of the Army's Futures Command, will conduct the investigation and is expected to arrive at Fort Hood in two to three weeks, Army officials told CBS News. Because he is senior to all the generals in the chain of command at Fort Hood, Murray has the authority to recommend disciplinary action against them.

"There are currently several investigations underway at Fort Hood which are tasked with reviewing a wide range of topics and concerns," the Army said in a press release. "Gen. Murray will roll those efforts into a more complete and comprehensive investigation that will delve into all activities and levels of leadership."

One of the senior commanders whose actions will be investigated, Major General Scott Efflandt, has had his scheduled assignment to become a division commander taken away. He will remain at Fort Hood until the investigation is completed, officials told CBS News. His future depends on the outcome of the investigation.

Efflandt had been the senior officer at Fort Hood — but now, another officer is being brought in over him. That officer, Major General John Richardson, was already scheduled to assume the position, but the move is being made ahead of schedule.

Guillén, who was 20 years old, was last seen at Fort Hood on April 22. 

Her suspected killer, fellow soldier Specialist Aaron Robinson, died by suicide when he was approached by police on July 1. In a criminal complaint released the next day, Robinson's girlfriend told investigators that he told her he'd killed a fellow soldier by hitting her in the head with a hammer, adding that the pair later dismembered and disposed of Guillén's body near a river. Guillén's remains were positively identified days later. 

Guillén's family claims that she told family members, friends and colleagues at work about being sexually harassed by her superiors on two different occasions, but Army officials have denied any link between the sexual harassment allegations and Guillén's disappearance. An attorney for the family has also claimed Guillén was harassed by Robinson. 

Murray's investigation is separate from an independent review of Fort Hood's command climate ordered by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. McCarthy has noted that Fort Hood has one of the highest rates of murder, sexual assault and harassment in the Army.  

Guillén's death also sparked a social media campaign in which other service members shared their own experiences of sexual assault and harassment with the hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillen. 

David Martin and Christopher Brito contributed to this report.

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