On Sunday, 26-year-old Jose Alberto Gutierrez, a Salvadoran farmer, body was found floating down the Colorado lagoon in the Valley of Peace village. The Colorado lagoon is found between Valley of Peace and the sprawling Santender Property. Plusnews spoke with the Chairman of the Village, Juan Arias who was also a close associate of the the drowning victim. He told us more about Gutierrez as he was one of the last persons to see Jose Gutierrez alive.
Juan Arias, Chairman, Valley of Peace: He was a handy person because he would look for work everywhere, anybody who has work for him, he does the work for them. And at last moment he came to work with the valley of peace farmers. They told me that he likes to fish as well and we have a big lagoon there, so sometimes he goes to fish in the lagoon; and that’s the life that he liked to do.
When PlusNews arrived on the scene, the Police Pathologist had arrived and was in the process of doing the on-site autopsy as the body was already in a state of decomposition. The onsite post mortem revealed that he died from asphyxia due to drowning The Chairman went on to tell us the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Gutierrez.
Juan Arias, Chairman, Valley of Peace: Saturday morning he came along with another farmer from here and they were working together, and the farmer was watering his plants and he reached the side but he had rum in a bottle. That was the last moment that the gentleman saw him. From then he was gone, that was Saturday at about 9am, from then he was searching for him. He didn’t see him Saturday. So yesterday, Sunday, he went to make a report to the Roaring Creek Police station. He went to make a report that he was missing, because he could not be found. After he came back about 5 o’clock , he saw the body start floating in the lagoon and so he made another report that the man was found in the lagoon. The wind was blowing him and when they saw him they went to pull him so the water couldn’t back him away.
Police retrieved the partially discomposed body of Gutierrez sometime after 5 p.m. on Sunday but it was not until Monday that the family was able to come from Silkgrass Village and identify the body. We spoke with the uncle of the deceased.
Maximiliano Serrito: He came with my son from Valley and he was drunk. He came from the Valley and he went there to plant some trees and we were at the ranch. He did not come over to the ranch; he said he was coming to get cigarette but maybe he went into the water. Nobody saw him if he went in so that was it. They were drinking yesterday evening. There is a place where they can swim, we were surprised because when he comes drunk he goes and lays down under the trees and last night he did not come home so I told my son something must have happened, if he did not go to the valley then maybe he jumped in the river so my son went and asked if they saw him but he was not there.