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Family: Reports say car of missing Hamilton man, fiancée found in Mexico

Missing Cincinnati architect, Jose Gutierrez
Posted at 12:24 AM, Jan 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-19 00:24:49-05

HAMILTON, Ohio — The family of José Gutiérrez said they have not received any updates from police on his disappearance, but said Mexican news outlets are reporting that the car he and his fiancée were last in has been found.

Gutiérrez, 36, flew to Mexico from CVG on Dec. 22 to visit his fiancée, Daniela Pichardo. The couple, Pichardo's sister Viviana Pichardo and cousin Paola Vargas went to a bar in the north-central state of Zacatecas on Christmas Day. They left to go back to Pichardo's home, but never arrived.

Worried about their safety, Pichardo's mother contacted them and received a text message with an address in response. When the family drove to the address, they were stopped by police who told them the are they were in was too dangerous. They never heard from them again.

A report from TV Azteca in Jalisco said officials located her car. Pictures show a flat tire, bullet holes and deployed airbags.

Though they've wanted to, the Hamilton architect's family hasn't been able to travel to Mexico to search for him. Zacatecas is currently one of several Mexican states with a "Do Not Travel" advisory for American tourists "due to crime and kidnapping."

"Violent crime, extortion and gang activity are widespread in Zacatecas state," reads the U.S. Department of State's website. "U.S. citizens and LPRs [lawful permanent residents] have been victims of kidnapping."

Gutiérrez's sister, Brandie, described José as a loving, hard-working individual who loves to dance. He has been engaged to his fiancée since he proposed on Valentine's Day and the pair had been planning a September 2023 wedding.

He received his master's degree in architecture from Miami University and has been working at Champlin Architecture in downtown Cincinnati, Brandie said.