Army private from Long Beach found dead after complaining of sexual harassment

A U.S. Army private from Long Beach was found dead this week after telling her family she had been subjected to sexual harassment at Ft. Hood in Texas, where she was stationed, according to news reports.

The U.S. Army confirmed the death of Pvt. Ana Basaldua Ruiz, 20, in a statement on Thursday, saying “no foul play was evident.”

The Army, however, said it “will continue to conduct a thorough investigation and gather all evidence and facts to ensure they discover exactly what transpired. Information related to any possible harassment will be addressed and investigated fully.”

The cause of death was not disclosed, nor any further circumstances. The Army said she died March 13.

Basaldua Ruiz enlisted in the Army in July 2021 and had served as a combat engineer with the 1st Cavalry Division.

Basaldua’s mother, Alejandra Ruiz Zarco, told Telemundo News that her daughter had said a few weeks ago that she was being harassed by an Army superior and had been the target of sexual advances on the base.

Meanwhile the League of United Latin American Citizens called on the FBI to investigate Basaldua Ruiz’s death, the New York Times reported.

An FBI spokesman declined to comment on the league’s request, according to the Times.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democrat of Texas, and Rep. Mayra Flores, a Republican of Texas, both expressed concern over the incident.

“Pvt. Ana Basalduaruiz deserved to live freely without harassment and abuse,” Flores said on Twitter. “My heart goes out to her family and to all the women who were ignored or forgotten by a biased system that failed them.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Pvt. Ana Basaldua Ruiz’s name. 

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