Army says no foul play in California soldier’s death, family raises allegations she was being sexually harassed

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By Camila Bernal and Stephanie Becker | CNN

Military investigators at Fort Hood said there was no foul play in Pvt’s death. Ana Basaldua Ruiz, who was serving at the Texas Army post, while her family raises accusations that she was being sexually harassed.

Basaldua Ruiz, a 20-year-old combat engineer with the 1st Cavalry Division, died on Monday, according to a statement from Fort Hood.

“The Army Criminal Investigation Division and the chain of command are actively investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding his death,” said the statement released on Wednesday.

Basaldua Ruiz’s mother, Alejandra Ruiz Zarco, was told by army officials that Basaldua Ruiz died by suicide, the mother told CNN affiliate Univision and Telemundo News.

Ruiz Zarco told both outlets that he questions the allegation and says his daughter was being sexually harassed at the base.

The Army declined to confirm Basaldua Ruiz’s cause of death to CNN, but said in a statement that “any possible harassment will be addressed and investigated fully.”

“The Army CID will continue to conduct a thorough investigation and gather all evidence and facts to ensure they find out exactly what happened,” the statement said.

Basaldua Ruiz’s death comes three years after the assassination of Fort Hood Army Spc. Vanessa Guillén, who disappeared in April 2020 and was later found dead in a shallow grave. Her family said that Guillén was being sexually harassed and planned to file a complaint; she was killed the day before he filed it. The suspect, a fellow Fort Hood soldier, killed himself after being confronted by police, officials said. Guillén’s family said the man was furious when he found out that she planned to file a sexual harassment report and killed her.

An investigation following Guillén’s death led to the punishment of 14 senior officers and raised concerns about the culture at the base.

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