APD: ‘We don’t have any strong leads’ in case of missing 25-year-old

Austin
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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police as well as family and friends continue their search for a missing 25-year-old man last seen on Rainey Street.

Martin Gutierrez, 25, was last seen Monday, Nov. 19, at approximately 1 a.m. in the 90 block of Rainey Street. 

Gutierrez is described as a Hispanic male around five feet eight inches tall and 160 pounds. He has short black hair and brown eyes.

According to APD, he was last seen wearing a black Patagonia jacket, a light green shirt, dark blue jeans and grey “Vans” shoes.

Friends and family continued to search for Martin on Friday, walking around downtown, asking businesses and bars for any surveillance video they might have. APD detectives were also going around Austin Friday, going over surveillance videos and interviewing potential witnesses. 

On Thursday, law enforcement continued their search for Gutierrez as did around 40 of his loved ones who walked around in the area near Rainey Street as well as the area near Holly Street east of Interstate 35. Gutierrez’ family is hoping people who live or work in the area will come forward with surveillance footage from the hours of 11 p.m. Sunday night to around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning. The last surveillance video they say Gutierrez appears in was from an office on Holly Street just south of the Rainey Street bars. The family said it shows video of him walking east while holding his phone, headed toward I-35. 

In a press conference Wednesday, APD said that no foul play is suspected in Gutierrez’s disappearance.

“Right now we don’t have any strong leads, we’ve gotten some great tips from the public that we’re working on right now, but right now we’re just going on location, and this is a nearby area and so we’re starting here,” said Detective Brad Herries with the Austin Police Department, speaking from a grassy area near Lady Bird Lake just south of Rainey Street where search crews were working. 

“We have pulled some video and it’s corroborating the story right now of we really don’t understand why he’s not accounted for at this point,” Herries said of the investigation. 

“Right now we are doing everything within our power. We are out here, Travis County Search and Rescue volunteers are out here, and we are doing everything within our power to try and find him today,” added Herries. 

Gutierrez’s older brother, Mitchell, spoke with KXAN Tuesday and Wednesday about the case. 

“I just hope we can get some help to find him. That’s all I want… to find him safe and sound,” Mitchell Gutierrez said, crying. “You try not to think of the worst-case scenario.”

Mitchell also said he saw new surveillance video Wednesday from a tech company on the opposite end of Rainey Street showing Martin walking east on River Street,  toward I-35. The video was taken ten minutes after Martin left the Alibi bar.

Mitchell was joined by his parents, friends, and family members from out of town to help in the search for Martin Wednesday. Loved ones provided articles of Martin’s clothing to officers using K-9s in the search for a scent. 

Mitchell and the rest of the search party are too worried to eat or sleep much. They’ve been spending their time walking everywhere they can think of in Austin looking for Martin. 

Mitchell Gutierrez says after going out to dinner Sunday evening, Martin stayed out with a group of friends downtown.

He believes his little brother parted from the group of friends to get a ride home but never made it back. Mitchell added that surveillance footage from the Alibi shows Martin leaving the bar and walking quickly along Rainey Street.

After trying to reach Martin, locate his phone, and track down his bank records with no success, Mitchell filed a missing person report with the Austin Police Department on Tuesday. 

“I was trying to find him at St. David’s, at Seton. I went out to all the hospitals trying to see if there was a John Doe with my brother’s description,” he said. 

Martin Gutierrez graduated from Texas Tech University in December 2017 with a degree in business.

“He loved accounting for some reason. He did. He could crunch numbers I could never, you know,” his brother said.

Martin moved to Austin in January.

“Austin’s a good city. I hope it’s good to him and we find him. It’s filled with good people, I hope,” the older brother added. “I just want him back. He’s such a good kid — such a good kid. I wish it would have happened to me instead of him.” 

Mitchell said his brother’s disappearance doesn’t make sense. 

“He’s a victim of routine, like he’s such a good kid, we’re boring, we’re so boring you know, we do the same thing every single day,” Mitchell explained. 

“They knew something was wrong when he didn’t show up to work. That kid is dependable, reliable, honest, intelligent, smart, athletic,” he said. “He always saw the best in everybody.” 

“I’m just so scared. I just hope he’s okay,” he continued. 

As more time passed, the outlook of those searching has grown more somber. 

“It’s unbelievable, because I’m trying to find my brother’s body,” Mitchell he said while walking over a trail along Riverside. 

“I just want him home safe, that’s what I want,” Mitchell said through tears. “Just safe and back on the couch, hanging out like we always did.”

APD is urging anyone with information on Gutierrez’s whereabouts to call 911 as soon as possible or the Missing Persons Unit at 512-974-5250.

The family is offering a $10,000 reward for finding him.

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