The murderer of a pregnant soldier has finally been brought to justice, 20 years later

In 2001, 19-year-old Amanda Gonzalez was beaten and strangled to death on an Army base in Germany; she was four months pregnant. Now, over 20 years later, her killer has finally been convicted.

Gloria Bates, Gonzalez’ mother, still remembers the moment her daughter called to tell her she was pregnant. She was on her first assignment in the Army, having enlisted for the opportunity to travel. Bates told the New York Times Gonzalez was excited about her baby, and planned to name her Alicia Marie. She also told ABC News her daughter had a tendency to step in when she saw others being bullied or picked on, which gave her the nickname “Firecracker.”

“She was their mother hen,” Bates said. “If she saw someone being mistreated, she would step in between and just go off.”

Shannon L. Wilkerson was also a soldier stationed in Germany at the time, and though he was married, he was in a relationship with Gonzalez, and was convinced he was the father of her child. Yet she had told her mother the baby was another man’s — information later confirmed by an autopsy.

Shannon L. Wilkerson (Screenshot)

On November 5, 2001, Gonzalez did not show up to her job as a cook, and her body was found that day in her barracks room. She had been dead for two days.

The case quickly grew cold, though Bates refused to stop searching for answers. “I have not given up,” she told her daughter each time she visited her grave, including just six days before an arrest was made. “I’m still here and I’m gonna still be here to finish this for you.”

Wilkerson was arrested in February 2023, thanks to DNA discovered on an old sweatshirt. Last week, he was found guilty of second-degree murder, with a possible sentence of life in prison.

“To watch two Marshalls take him away and cuff him, that right there set my soul free,” Bates said.

“The murder of Amanda Gonzales and her unborn child was a horrific act of violence,” U.S. Attorney Jason R. Coody for the Northern District of Florida said in a Department of Justice press release. “This decades-long investigation and resulting prosecution demonstrate the unwavering resolve of our law enforcement partners and their commitment to use every tool available to protect Americans, especially those serving our country.”

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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