Bodies found in Mexico likely missing Cincinnati architect, fiancée

Jose Gutierrez and his fiancée have not been seen since before Christmas.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 5:08 PM EST
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HAMILTON, Ohio (WXIX) - The siblings of 36-year-old Jose Gutiérrez say their parents, who live in Mexico, are on their way to give a DNA sample after authorities told them a body found Thursday is likely that of their loved one.

Four bodies were found in total. Three are confirmed to be Jose’s fiancée, Daniela Pichardo, as well as Pichardo’s sister and cousin.

A fourth body is believed at this time to be Jose, but authorities are waiting for DNA confirmation from his family.

The family will likely find out the results Monday.

The car Jose and Daniela used in Mexico was found earlier this week riddled with bullet holes.

“All these days, we just been praying and praying that it’s not him, it’s not him, and if the outcome comes that it is, we have to be ready,” said Jose’s brother, Miguel.

Jose, 36, the oldest of seven siblings, received his master’s from Miami University and worked for a Cincinnati-based firm as an architect. Born in Mexico, his family has described him as a role model who overcame all odds to earn his degree.

He was last seen in the U.S. at CVG when he left on Dec. 22 for Zacatecas, one of Mexico’s 31 states.

He was going to visit Daniela, something his family says he often does. The couple had a 2023 wedding date.

Brandie Gutiérrez, Jose’s sister, says she last heard from him and his fiancée when the foursome went out to eat some days into their trip. She doesn’t know what happened, but she says news agencies carried troubling reports of an incident that night.

The couple hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Jose’s family expressed early fears they had been abducted.

They initially reached out to the FBI and U.S. government officials for additional help. They also filed a police report with Hamilton police.

Brandie says U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) has constantly contacted the family to provide updates as they come in.

An agency of the Mexican government, whose mission is to find people reported missing, confirmed it was looking for Jose and leading the investigation.

The U.S. Department of State has a travel advisory for Mexico that includes Zacatecas.

The locality-specific advisory language reads: “Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping. Violent crime, extortion, and gang activity are widespread in Zacatecas state. U.S. citizens and [lawful permanent residents] have been victims of kidnapping.”

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