Family says Hamilton man is missing after trip to Mexico

A Hamilton man has vanished after flying to Mexico to visit his fiancée, according to the family of José Melesio Gutierrez.

Gutiérrez’s sister, Brandie Gutiérrez, said her brother was last seen at Solana Resto Bar in Jerez de Garcia Salinas in the state of Zacatecas on Christmas day. He was last seen with his fiancée, her sister and her cousin, all four of whom are now missing, Brandie said.

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

When José's future mother-in-law had not heard from the four into the night of Dec. 25, she became worried and contacted them — and in turn received a text message with an address, Brandie said. However, when the family drove to that address, they were stopped by police and told the area they were in was too dangerous, said Brandie. The family was told to return the next day, but were not given specific reasons as to why the area was dangerous.

Neither family has heard from José, his fiancée or her sister or cousin, Brandie said. Her family has reported José missing with the Hamilton Police Department and the FBI, she said, but those agencies have not yet confirmed they are actively investigating his disappearance.

The Zacatecas government issued an Alba alert for the search and location of the four people, Mexican news outlets have reported.

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 Sept. 2023 wedding, Brandie said.

The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel advisory for the Mexican state of Zacatecas, urging people not to travel in the state “due to crime and kidnapping.”

“Violent crime, extortion and gang activity are widespread in Zacatecas state,” reads the agency’s website. “U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.”

This article is from WCPO 9 News, a content partner of the Journal-News.

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