Martin Gutierrez, 25, was missing in Austin, Texas since early morning Monday, November 19. With few clues about his disappearance, and a surveillance video showing Gutierrez acting oddly just before he disappeared, his family was seeking the public’s help, and a reward was offered for information that helped find Gutierrez. A body was found floating in the water in the region where Gutierrez went missing. Although the medical examiner has not yet officially identified the person, his family has said this is Martin. Here is what we know so far about what happened.
1. Martin Gutierrez’s Body Was Found in the Water Near Where He Went Missing, Almost a Week Later
Martin Gutierrez, 25, went missing early Monday morning, November 19. He was 5-foot-8 and weighed 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, grey Vans shoes, a light green shirt, and a black Patagonia jacket. His brother, Mitchell Gutierrez, told Fox 7 that his brother had big dimples and a scar over his right eye.
Sadly, Martin’s body was found in the water near where he disappeared, nearly a week later. Police have not officially identified him, but his family has identified him publicly. Mitchell shared the heartbreaking news Tuesday morning, November 27, on Facebook:
Mitchell wrote: “I lost my best friend…a void that will never be filled again. The pain is constant and more than I could ever imagine with what seems like no end in site. Martin was the brother I could go to for everything and now he’s gone. I am lost with no idea what direction to go from here. My family, friends, and community have come together in a way I never believed was possible in an effort to help me find him. I appreciate every text, call, message, posting, etc either sending prayers or providing assistance or advice to find him. Just keep our family in your thoughts and prayers…it helps more than you know. This world will always and forever be significantly less happy without Martin Gutierrez.”
Before Martin was found, Mitchell told KVUE that Martin had a set routine and it wasn’t like him to just disappear. “This isn’t him,” Mitchell said. “He has a set routine. He goes to work. He goes work out. We eat. We’re a victim of routine.”
On Monday, November 26, around 10 a.m., a body was recovered in the water off East Riverside Drive, near where Gutierrez went missing, KVUE reported.
Austin Police said on Monday that they couldn’t confirm if the body was related to any open missing persons cases, and police did not confirm any details about the age or race of the deceased person.
Reporters were on the scene when the body was found, and police had called Gutierrez’s family to the location. Jeff Stensland from Spectrum News Austin was on the scene and tweeted at the time that Martin’s family appeared very upset, but an officer told Martin’s mother that they did not know if the body was her son. Stensland said that the Austin Police Department’s decision to call the family to an active scene at the park was rare and “almost never happens.”
He continued, clarifying that an identification has not been made.
A family member on Facebook posted that Martin was found passed away on Monday, but the information was not confirmed by other family members until Tuesday. Stensland wrote on Tuesday morning: “NEW THIS MORNING: The family of Martin Gutierrez say the body found yesterday was his. We’re still waiting for the Travis County Medical Examiner to release that information. My heart goes out to Martin’s family and friends.”
2. Martin Went with Friends to Rainey Street, Purchased a Drink at Lustre Pearl, & Was Seen Leaving The Alibi
Martin was last seen on Rainey Street early morning on Monday, November 19, police have said. Martin had dinner with Mitchell, his girlfriend, and his girlfriend’s family at Cover 3 on West Sixth Street on Sunday night, November 18, KVUE reported. Mitchell decided to go home, but Martin wanted to stay out with his friends a little longer. Martin’s friends told Mitchell they last visited a bar called The Alibi. Here’s a map of where The Alibi is located in Austin:
Before visiting The Alibi, Martin went to Lustre Pearl and purchased one drink there around 11:30 p.m., Mitchell told CBS Austin. That was his last known purchase.
Both Lustre Pearl and The Alibi have surveillance footage of Martin the night he disappeared, but told KXAN they can’t share this with the media because they turned the footage over to the police. The Austin Police said they typically don’t release videos until a case is closed.
3. Martin Called a Friend Around 1:27 AM November 19 for a Ride Home
Around 1:27 a.m. on November 19, Martin called a friend, according to his phone records. He asked for a ride home, but his friend was working and couldn’t pick him up, KVUE reported.
His brother told Fox 7 that he tried to track Martin’s phone, but his phone was turned off. He also tried to get into Martin’s Uber account to see if he got a lift home, or if he used his credit or debit cards.
4. Security Footage Showed Martin Sprinting Strangely Out of The Alibi & Later Walking Toward I-35. His Family Is Hoping People in the Area Will Search Their Security Footage for Nov. 19, 1:30-3 AM
Video footage shows Martin at The Alibi, a bar next door to Lustre Pearl where he made his last known purchase. Although the footage hasn’t been released, Mitchell was shown the footage by a manager at The Alibi on Rainey Street, KVUE reported. Mitchell told CBS Austin that the footage showed Martin exiting the bar “kind of like he was in a sprint.” He was on his phone when he left.
Mitchell told KVUE that the video shows Martin pretty much just sticking to himself while he was The Alibi and then running outside. He was on his phone the whole time, even though four friends were with him at the bar. Mitchell told KVUE: “The way he exited the bar running out and all this stuff — he’s making this weird movement, and it’s not him. Like I said, he’s a bulky kid. It was odd. It wasn’t Martin.”
Drew Boone, manager of The Alibi, told KXAN that Martin was there form 12:30 a.m. to 1:15 a.m. on Monday, November 19. Another manager was working behind the bar and said Martin was intoxicated, so the bartenders refused to serve him any alcohol based on how he was acting. Martin just hung out with his friends while he was there, Boone said.
Additional video from a tech company on Rainey Street showed Martin walking east on River Street, toward I-35, about 10 minutes after he left The Alibi, KXAN reported.
Mitchell told CBS Austin that Martin might have tried to walk to a friend’s home in East Austin. Family and friends are asking anyone east of I-35 to check their security camera footage for early morning Monday, November 19 between 1 a.m. and 3:30 a.m.
5. Police Are Asking Anyone Who Saw Something Suspicious To Call the Austin PD’s Tip Line
Austin Police Officer Destiny Silva has asked anyone who was in the area, or saw something suspicious or out of the ordinary, to call the homicide tip line at 512-477-3588, CBS Austin reported.
Martin’s family offered a $10,000 reward for information that led to finding him, KVUE reported. They originally were offering $5,000, but increased the reward amount.
Martin’s family, friends, Travis County Search and Rescue, and Austin police searched tirelessly for Martin. They searched around Rainey Street, the Zilker Park area, and surrounding areas, passing out flyers in hopes of finding anyone who may know something, KVUE reported. They also called local hospitals.
Martin’s brother, Mitchell Gutierrez, told KVUE: “I’m hoping he’s not in the water and had drowned. I’m hoping someone didn’t hurt him and he’s down somewhere and he can’t do anything. Or someone took him. I just don’t want to think that he’s behind a dumpster somewhere.”
Martin had just moved to Austin in January, Mitchell told KXAN.