LULAC demands FBI investigation after death of soldier; Family informed of possible suicide
Fort Hood announces foul play is not suspected
FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - Investigators at Fort Hood on Thursday announced no foul play is suspected in the March 13 death of Private Ana Fernanda Basaldua Ruiz, a combat engineer who has served with the division for the past 15 months.
“The Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division officials have confirmed that, at this point in the investigation into the death of Pvt. Ana Basalduaruiz, no foul play is evident, and will remain under investigation,” Fort Hood said in a news release.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) on Thursday demanded the FBI get involved. “We have already informed the Army that LULAC is demanding action and will not stand down until all the truth emerges about what happened. Also, we are asking the FBI to conduct an outside investigation into this case, independent of the US Army,” the Latino civil rights organization wrote in a news release.
LULAC NEWS CONFERENCE:
Telemundo reported that those responsible at the army post attributed the soldier’s death, preliminary, to a suicide. Relatives of the soldier who spoke with Telemundo said they were also told their loved one’s death appeared to be a suicide, but very little information had been provided.
La soldado Ana Fernanda Basaldua Ruiz fue hallada muerta dentro de la base militar de Fort Hood. Los responsables de la base atribuyeron el fallecimiento, de forma preliminar, a un suicidio, según explicaron los familiares. https://t.co/7KHk7pqfgy— Telemundo Central Texas (@TelemundoTexas) March 16, 2023
Basaldua, 20, was born in Mexico and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, Telemundo reported. She enlisted in the Army in 2020, although due to the coronavirus pandemic, she began her military training a year later at the Central Texas army post.
The young woman was going to fulfill her three-year contract in August, but, according to her father, Baldo Basaldua, she had recently told him that “she was no longer comfortable, that her whole life was wrong, that she wanted to die.”
The father said he last spoke with Ana on Saturday, March 12. On Sunday, she no longer answered his messages.
“The next day [Monday March 13] I sent her messages and they didn’t reach her anymore, the delivered one no longer appeared and I went to look for her [satellite] location and then it appeared that she was, like, in a park inside the base and that was it. I just put a message to her that the one who was going to die was going to be me out of anguish, for not knowing anything about her,” said the father, who lives in California.
According to Telemundo, at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 13, military representatives went to the restaurant where he works to inform him of her death.
Officials at Fort Hood have not provided specific information about the soldier’s death, but did tell KWTX the chain of command is in contact with Basalduaruiz’s family “to keep them updated and provide them all releasable information.”
The army post is also providing support and resources to the trooper’s family and troopers who served with her. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Pvt. Ana Basalduaruiz, and we extend our sympathies to her father, mother, and her sister,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Sullivan, commander, 91st Engineer Battalion, “Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time. She was an exceptional teammate that will truly be missed.”
Alejandra Ruiz Zarco, the young woman’s mother, told Telemundo that her daughter had told her a few weeks ago that an Army superior “was harassing her” and that she allegedly received constant sexual advances from other people post.
“She told me: ‘Mom, everyone wants me to sleep with them, but they (expletive)” the mother recalled on Wednesday.
Ruiz said she last spoke to her daughter on March 8. “She told me that she was very sad, that a lot of very strong things were happening, that things were not as normal as I thought, that she couldn’t tell me much, but that there was going to be a moment when we were going to be together and she could say everything,” the mother explained by phone from the Mexican state of Michoacán, where she lives with another daughter and where Ana grew up before leaving for the United States in 2020.
“[She told me] that she wanted to see me, that she wanted to hug me, and she wanted me to hug her a lot, like when she was little,” the mother said.
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