A 26-year-old man was rescued Monday (November 29) overnight after the Weld County Regional SWAT team, the Sheriff’s Office strike team and three other sheriff’s offices worked together in the North. eastern Colorado.
One of the two main suspects has been arrested, but efforts are still underway to identify and locate the second suspect.
Oscar Eduardo Valles Avila was presumed kidnapped and in serious physical danger after the Weld County Sheriff’s Office discovered Sunday afternoon that Gilbert Gutierrez, 40, had been killed in the 23600 block of Blake Street in unincorporated Weld in society, just outside of Johnstown, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office. Before finding the body, Gutierrez and Avila were last seen around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, when they were taken to the Blake Street site.
A full investigation revealed that Avila had ties to the Julesburg area in Sedgwick County and may have been taken there by her captors, the statement said. On Monday, members of the Weld Strike Team traveled to Julesburg, where they guarded the area until the SWAT team could mobilize.
The response team relayed information about the suspects and potential victims, which led to the rescue of Avila at around 8:15 p.m. Monday at a gas station off Interstate 76 in Julesburg. They were about 6 miles from the Nebraska state border, the statement said.
After providing medical treatment to Avila, the SWAT team worked with elements from the Sedgwick, Phillips and Logan County Sheriff’s Offices to execute search warrants at two homes near 7th and Oak streets in Julesburg.
Members of the strike team arrested Marco Antonio Gutierrez-Herrera, 40, as a prime suspect. He was held in Weld County Jail on suspicion of second degree murder, first degree kidnapping, second degree assault and threat, all felonies.
The second prime suspect was in Julesburg on Monday morning in a white 2015-2017 Toyota Camry or similar sedan. He was in the same vehicle in Johnstown on the day of the homicide, according to the sheriff’s office. He is said to have ties to the Pueblo region and should be viewed as armed and dangerous.
Residents of Julesburg and Sedgwick County, media and law enforcement are urged to provide the Weld County Sheriff’s Office with any security camera footage, such as doorbell camera video, of a white sedan, possibly the 2015-2017 Toyota Camry in the Julesburg area between Saturday and Monday November 20-22.
Anyone in possession of such footage, or any other possible information about this case, is urged to contact Detective Ong at (970) 400-5816.
Sedgwick, Phillips and Logan counties provided resources, including manpower and a second armored vehicle.