A 20-year-old soldier, Pvt. Ana Basaldua Ruiz, was found dead at Fort Hood, and officials say there was no foul play involved. Basaldua Ruiz had been serving with the 1st Cavalry Division for 15 months before her death. The Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division stated that they are continuing to investigate the case, including any information regarding possible harassment.
While the cause of Basaldua Ruiz's death was not released by officials, her family revealed in an interview with Telemundo that she died by suicide. Her father, Baldo Basaldua, disclosed that his daughter had expressed feeling uncomfortable and wanting to die in their final conversation. Basaldua Ruiz's mother, Alejandra Ruiz Zarco, added that her daughter had confided in her about being harassed by her superior and facing sexual advances from others at the base.
Basaldua Ruiz, who was born in Mexico and had become a naturalized US citizen, joined the army in 2020. Her military training was postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her family said she was set to complete her three-year contract in August. The tragic circumstances surrounding Basaldua Ruiz's death are reminiscent of the case of Vanessa Guillén, another soldier at Fort Hood who went missing in April 2020 and was later found murdered.
Guillén's family also reported that she had experienced sexual harassment within the military before her death. Basaldua Ruiz's family is working to obtain a humanitarian visa so that her mother can travel to Texas. Her mother expressed her grief on Facebook, sharing a photo of Basaldua Ruiz along with a heartfelt message. Army officials assure the family that they are keeping them updated on any developments regarding the investigation. The case highlights the ongoing concerns of harassment and mistreatment within the military and the urgent need for further investigation and accountability.