José Gutiérrez, a local architect and Miami University graduate, died while visiting his fiancée in Mexico over the holidays, according his employer, Cincinnati-based Champlin Architecture.
"He was a valuable member of the Champlin team, working on projects for clients such as The Christ Hospital, Hamilton County, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, and University of Cincinnati. His work bettered the lives of those in the community he chose to make his home," the Downtown firm said in a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon. "We will all miss him more than words can express."
Gutiérrez, of Hamilton, went missing on Christmas day during a trip to Mexico. A van, which authorities believe Gutiérrez and others were using, was found riddled with bullet holes last week, according to TV Azteca.
The van's tires were blown and an airbag had been deployed. There were 12 bullet holes in the vehicle including one through the rear window, the report states.
Authorities said an unidentified deceased man was found in another vehicle on the same property as the van. Both vehicles were located in the rural community of "el cuidado" in the municipality of Tepepongo in the state of Zacatecas, TV Azteca reported.
Four bodies were discovered by authorities last week, according to Enquirer media partner Fox19. Three were confirmed to be Gutiérrez's fiancée, Daniela Pichardo, as well as Pichardo’s sister and cousin.
The fourth body was believed to be Gutiérrez, but authorities were waiting for DNA confirmation, Fox19 reported.
Enquirer media partner Fox19 contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Local architect missing in Mexico confirmed dead, employer says