Authorities in Mexico found a car that a 36-year-old Hamilton, Ohio man was traveling in when he went missing in the country at the end of last year, according to officials.
The car Jose Gutierrez was traveling in was found earlier this week in Zacatecas, a city in central Mexico, with bullet holes in it and a burial site nearby, the Zacatecas Attorney General said in a statement.
The body of a man roughly between the age of 20 to 35 was also found along with the car, according to the attorney general. It wasn't clear where exactly the man's body was found in relation to the car.
Gutierrez went missing in Mexico in Dec. 2022 while visiting his fiancé, Daniela Pichardo, in Mexico, NBC affiliate WLWT reported. He was last seen out to dinner with Pichardo, her sister and her cousin on Christmas day.
According to a preliminary forensic analysis, four bodies were found in the burial site near Gutierrez' car, three women and one man, the office of the attorney general said.
Gutierrez, an architect, is an active member of his community, according to local officials.
"Jose was not only a resident of Hamilton, he played an active role in improving the community," said Brandon Saurber, director of neighborhoods for Hamilton. "An architect by trade, Jose served as a volunteer board member on the City’s Architectural Design Review Board (ADRB). Mr. Gutierrez was passionate about historic preservation, and was actively restoring a historic home in the city’s Jefferson neighborhood."
Hamilton Planning Director Liz Hayden, who worked closely with Gutierrez, said even though he worked at an architecture firm an hour away, he still found the time to dedicate to the board.
“The Planning Department staff and his fellow board members have been praying for him, his companions, and their families," she said.
Gutierrez worked for Champlin Architecture at the time of his disappearance, a spokesperson for the company confirmed over the phone.
“We pray for Jose’s safe return home,” Mayor of Hamilton Pat Moeller told NBC News. “The most recent news does not appear to be positive.”