A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family of Pvt. Ana Fernanda Basaldua Ruiz travel from Mexico to the United States to attend her memorial and to conduct a second autopsy.
The account was created by Basaldua Ruiz’s aunt, Itzi Ortega, who described her niece as “a power of nature … beautiful, intelligent, funny [and] caring.”
“She loved music, loved to dance and [read], and loved her family so much,” Ortega wrote. “She dreamed to make a successful career in the army and serve her country proudly.”
Ana Basaldua Ruiz, a 20-year-old combat engineer, was found dead on March 13 at Ft. Hood, the same military post where Vanessa Guillén was murdered in 2020. The Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) released a statement three days later that said that there was no foul play in Basaldua Ruiz’s death.
The statement added that “information related to any possible harassment will be addressed and investigated fully.” Basaldua Ruiz’s family is claiming that during her 15 months on the base, she was sexually harassed. And friends of Basaldua Ruiz are allegedly backing the story of harassment as well.
Ortega said the money raised would help Basaldua Ruiz’s mother and sister with their transportation and travel expenses from Mexico, so they can attend her memorial and give her a “last goodbye.” The family is also trying to pay for a second autopsy. “We are asking all of you that feel in your heart that can help us in some way to make this happen to please to donate to this cause,” Ortega wrote. “There is not a small amount.”
Ortega added: “Anita represents so much as a young warrior Mexican American woman in the Army.”
As of press time, the GoFundMe account in honor of Ana Basaldua Ruiz has raised $5,444 of the $15,000 goal.