Victoria Murder Investigation ‘Person of Interest’ Killed in Reagan County Crash
This story was updated at 9:58 a.m. Tuesday, July 29, 2015 to add more information about the homicide investigation in Victoria, Texas.
A ‘person of interest’ in a murder investigation out of Victoria, Texas died in a head-on collision early Tuesday morning in Reagan County.
Raul Gutierrez III, 35, was pronounced dead at the scene by Reagan County Justice of the Peace Patty Creech.
The Department of Public Safety released an official accident report late Tuesday evening confirming Gutierrez’ identity.
Creech pronounced him dead at 3:45 a.m.
The accident happened some 18 miles north of Big Lake on Farm to Market Road 33 at around 2:43 a.m.
Gutierrez is believed to be a person of interest in a homicide that occurred just after 6 p.m. on Monday evening in Victoria, Texas.
Reports indicate that the body found at the Victoria home is the wife of Gutierrez. Officials report she was brutally attacked earlier that day.
The accident coincided with an alert issued by the Victoria Police Department that went out to law enforcement officers urging them to be on the look out for a blue 2009 Suzuki pickup owned by Raul Gutierrez III.
The alert described him as a person of interest in a possible homicide.
The deceased, as well as the pickup involved in the Tuesday morning accident, matched the description given by Victoria authorities.
According to the alert, Gutierrez was believed to be headed to the Midland area.
There are 381 miles between Victoria and the crash site north of Big Lake if you take the most direct route. The accident happened some eight and a half hours after the potential homicide was reported to Victoria PD.
A track of his cell phone indicated he was west of Sonora on Interstate Highway 10 at around 1:40 a.m. when the phone was turned off.
The initial alert also indicated that Gutierrez was believed to have a gun, and was considered suicidal.
According to authorities, officers involved in the homicide investigation are traveling to Lubbock, Texas to be on hand for Gutierrez' autopsy.
According to DPS, Gutierrez’s 2009 Suzuki Equator pickup was traveling north on SH 33 when it traveled onto the wrong side of the road striking a 2001 Freightliner Truck Tractor towing a Semi-Trailer head-on in the southbound lane.
The driver of the 18-wheeler, David Lee Ward 51 of Dallas, was transported by ambulance to Reagan Memorial Hospital where he was later released.
Law enforcement shut down the section of SH 33 until DPS’ investigation could be complete. The roadway opened back up shortly after 9 a.m.
The investigation was conducted by Texas Highway Patrol Troopers Nancy Mata and Castulo Bilano. Reagan County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted with the investigation.
According to the Victoria Advocate newspaper, Victoria police are currently investigating the death of a 43-year-old woman that was discovered by a co-worker at around 6 p.m. Monday evening.
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