In March, reports about the passing of Army Private Ana Basaldua Ruiz took over the news cycle as she became the second woman stationed at Fort Hood (now named Fort Cavazos) to be found dead. Among those reports, family and friends of Basaldua Ruiz alleged the 20 year old had been experiencing a tough time due to harassment.

But unlike the late Vanessa Guillen, Basaldua Ruiz’s death was ruled a suicide by the United States Army, Telemundo cites.

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In their article, Telemundo speaks to both of the late Basaldua Ruiz’s parents. Her mother, Alejandra Ruiz Sarco, tells Noticias Telemundo, “My daughter did not commit suicide; my daughter was suicided.”

Ana Basaldua Ruiz entered an environment she wasn’t prepared to experience

Ruiz Sarco tells the publication that before her daughter entered the Army, she was “a happy and lively girl” but that it was a “very difficult” change of pace for her.

“It was very difficult for her to realize what reality was like in the Army: the confinement, psychological pressure, the physical and work pressure that they experience,” Ruiz Sarco explains.

Basaldua Ruiz entered the Army on August 15, 2021, Telemundo reports, at 18. She was assigned to Fort Cavazos by December 2021. She immediately began telling colleagues and family that she was being harassed by a superior who was her counselor within her platoon.

The Army’s investigation found that the counselor would act jealous when he saw her speaking to other men. Soldiers told Army officials that Basaldua Ruiz described him as “intense” and that he’d make her feel “smothered.”

Telemundo reports that the Army did not release the name of Basaldua Ruiz’s assigned counselor. The investigation on possible harassment between Basaldua Ruiz and her superior was marked as an improper relationship by the Army.

She was moved out of the platoon. He was promoted and sent to another platoon so that he may “have a fresh start as a leader.”

Ana Basaldua Ruiz wasn’t just harassed, she was also assaulted

In December 2022, she was assaulted by another soldier with whom she had been in a relationship. While the Army found no evidence of a formal complaint, the soldier in question admitted something did happen.

The soldier told Army investigators that “it was possible” that he choked her. But, that it was done “in a joking manner.” There is no mention of whether the soldier, who was nameless in the report sent to Telemundo, was reprimanded.

Some days after her death, investigators found a journal entry she had written about the incident.


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She begins, “Something happened yesterday and I really didn’t like it a lot what happened but what can I do. I was with [unlisted soldier] and he got mad at me for something dumb.” 

“He told me, ‘wtf,’, why did I have to put that on his pillow. He was choking me and I couldn’t move, and he thought that was super fun,” Basaldua Ruiz noted. 

The 20-year-old expressed that she was unsure of “how to leave.” Hoping she didn’t have to “see him again.”

She was also feeling isolated

The same month she reported the physical assault, she also tested positive for marijuana in an urinalysis. Telemundo cites that this launched a military separation. Military One Source explains that this process takes place to transition a soldier back to civilian life.

Basaldua Ruiz explained to a friend at Fort Cavazos that she had accidentally eaten gummies while on leave.

Friends and colleagues noted that after the attack and the military’s decision to launch a separation, her “demeanor changed.” Due to the restrictions placed on her, she could not leave for Christmas and was given more work assignments. She also began spending more time by herself.

While she did share remorse with her military therapist, another incident led to a second filed separation process, Telemundo reports. Two days before her death, Basaldua Ruiz was caught stealing alongside two other soldiers from a store on the base.

She was found dead 15 months after she enlisted

About 15 months later, two soldiers found her body semi-suspended in the maintenance bay, the Army’s report cites, per Telemundo. It was the place she liked to go read because it provided her with solitude.

Her father, Baldo Basaldua, told Telemundo that he had received several text messages from her where she shared her feelings. 

“My whole life is wrong,” was one of the messages he received. Another text message said she “wanted to die.”

“I took them as her normal responses: she’s angry, she’s tired. I never felt like it was something she was going to do,” Basaldua cites.

But in hindsight, he wishes he had called his daughter. 

“I regret not calling her because if I had called her I think she would have been someone else […] I think it would have helped her a lot if I had called her on the phone,” he affirms.