AUSTIN (KXAN) — The family of Martin Gutierrez said when they received the phone call from police Monday telling them officers had discovered a body in Lady Bird Lake, they “knew it was him.”
Before he was discovered, the 25-year-old man had been missing for a week and was last seen leaving Rainey Street after telling friends he was going to catch a ride home.
Wednesday Gutierrez’s brother Mitchell talked with KXAN News for the first time since the discovery.
Mitchell: I knew it was him, I could feel it in my gut, I knew, my mom knew too, she was going up to the police officers trying to get through because she knew, we both did.
KXAN: Can you talk about what difficulties they had with identifying him?
Mitchell: He had been in the water for quite an extensive period of time, he was unidentifiable, is what they had said. The clothing is what helped identify him, and he had his wallet on him, so we kind of had an idea before the scientific evidence came out.
KXAN: At this point have you formed an opinion, or do you have any thoughts on what happened to him?
Mitchell: I wish I did. I just don’t know how he got in the water, I don’t know if he fell, or if someone hurt him. There’s just so many questions unanswered.
KXAN: A lot of people were out there searching for Martin, did you guys learn anything or find any evidence that you were able to hand over to police?
Mitchell: We actually found some surveillance at an apartment complex nearby that showed Martin going towards the water, or what we thought was Martin. It looked very similar, the way he was walking and everything, and so we were almost positive it was, and so we turned it over to the detectives.
KXAN: How do you want your brother remembered?
Mitchell: Just as he was. Happy, laughing, humble, kind, loving, he was perfect man. Just, I don’t want people to forget how happy he was.
The Gutierrez family plans to hold a memorial service for Martin this Saturday at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Big Springs.