Bodies found in Mexico are that of Ohio architect, fiancee

Four bodies found in Mexico are confirmed to be that of an Ohio architect, his fiancé, and two family members who went missing in December. (Source: WXIX)
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 2:03 PM AKST
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HAMILTON, Ohio (WXIX/Gray News) – Four bodies found in Mexico are confirmed to be that of an Ohio architect, his fiancee, and two family members who went missing in December, officials said.

Officials confirmed Tuesday that one of the bodies found is that of 36-year-old Jose Gutiérrez, an architect for a Cincinnati-based firm.

Officials previously determined the other three bodies to be Gutiérrez’s fiancee Daniela Pichardo, as well as her sister and cousin.

The car the couple used in Mexico was found earlier this week riddled with bullet holes. It’s unclear where the bodies were found.

Gutiérrez, 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 Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport when he left on Dec. 22 for Zacatecas, one of Mexico’s 31 states.

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

Gutiérrez’s sister said she last heard from him when the foursome went out to eat a few days into their trip. She doesn’t know what happened, but she said news agencies carried troubling reports of an incident that night.

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

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

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.”

The investigation is ongoing as officials are trying to piece together what happened.