Vanessa Guillen's family in D.C. to mark one year since her disappearance and death

Vanessa Guillen's family was in Washington, D.C. to mark one year since her disappearance and death.

They gathered with their attorney, Natalie Khawam, at the U.S. Navy Memorial just after 11 a.m. 

"Right now at this time, a year ago exactly, Vanessa's body was being put into a tough box," said Khawam. 

On June 30, her body was found near the Leon River in Bell County.

A fellow solider, Aaron Robinson, was identified as the suspect in her murder. He killed himself when authorities tried to arrest him.


Another suspect, Cecily Aguilar, was arrested and charged for assisting Robinson in disposing of her body.

Vanessa's sisters spoke emotionally about the frustration they feel there is not any justice for Vanessa and other victims of military sexual trauma.

"It's not fair that we have to keep asking for justice. We have to keep asking for change to protect those who protect us. So, all I ask for today is please don't forget her name. Please don't forget her story," said Mayra Guillen, Vanessa's older sister.

The family and attorney also urging Congress to reintroduce the I Am Vanessa Guillen Act -- legislation changing how reports of sexual misconduct are investigated in the military.

"Men and women in our military are getting sexually harrassed, committing suicide, getting military sexual trauma and others are getting murdered simply because a man or a woman says no to someone," said Lupe Guillen, Vanessa's younger sister.

The bill was introduced by the previous Congress but did not advance.


Houston area Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia was one of the co-sponsors. She says the bill will be introduced next month.

"We laid so much ground work last time and we got so many sponsors that but we're just a little shy of what we need to get on the floor," Garcia explained. "I think we'll be successful this year to get it out of the House. The next hurdle will be getting it onto the Senate."

RELATED: Texas State legislators urge Congress to pass "I Am Vanessa Guillen" Act

Vanessa's family is also calling on President Biden to support them. Lupe noted he expressed his support for the family when he was running for President.

"Well, months later, we're trying to meet with you," Lupe said addressing the president. "We're trying to get your support for this legislation, the I Am Vanessa Guillen Act. Because if you really care, because I know you had a son in the armed forces and you know how it feels to lose a son. And my father lost his daughter, I ask you to please support us."

The family held a candlelight vigil in DC to honor Vanessa. Meanwhile in Houston, a vigil was held as well at the mural at Taqueria del Sol in southeast Houston.