Family pleads for help finding suspect after father murdered at SLC car wash

Posted at 7:02 AM, Oct 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-27 09:02:53-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- A Salt Lake City family needs the public’s help to find answers after police said a man was randomly shot and killed while washing his car last week. 

The suspect stole the man’s vehicle after the Friday night shooting, Salt Lake City Police said, and later set it on fire and dumped it.

Now, Cristhian Gutierrez’s wife is left wondering why her husband is gone, and who is responsible. A shrine sat on the fireplace mantle at Gabriela Gutierrez’s home Wednesday evening.

“He was an amazing husband, he was my best friend,” a tearful and emotional Gabriela said.

A picture of him stood next to a burning candle, as a tribute to her now late husband.

“I couldn't even say goodbye to him, I couldn't… I couldn’t see him,” she said, crying.

Gabriela and Cristhian’s family are mourning together after he died in the hospital Saturday morning.

Cristhian, having just bought a new car, headed to the VIP car wash to clean it, Gabriela said, when he was shot and carjacked.

Police said Cristhian stumbled over to the busy Redwood Road, collapsed, and got help from passersby.

“It's sad, the way that he was taken from us,” Gabriela said. “He didn't deserve to be taken that way at all.”

Gutierrez, 33, was a father to a 9-year old daughter.

His family is now trying to understand this senseless crime.

“For one dollar, for 20 dollars, for a car: Is that the price of a life?” Cristhian’s brother, Jose Gutierrez-Marquez asked. “It's not fair, it's not.”

The pain is too much to bear, but they have no choice.

His several brothers gathered at Gabriela’s house Wednesday evening, solemn and emotional. Family is traveling up from Mexico to pay their respects.

His family said Cristhian was a hard-working person who spent lots of time with those he loved.

“Everyone [who] had the chance to know him, knew what a kind of a wonderful person he was,” Jose said.

Cristhian and Gabriela had a lifetime to look forward to. They were only married for 3.5 years.

Gabriela said they planned to renew their vows on their February 15 wedding anniversary, the day after Valentine’s Day.

They dreamt of buying a home, she said, and someday building a house in Mexico.

Now, instead, she’s dealing with the reality of what happened and knowing the person who did this is still out there on the streets.

“This is the worst pain that anyone could ever feel,” Gabriela said. “I just hope that someone does come forward and we’re able to find the man that did this to my husband, and took him away from me and our family.”

Salt Lake City Police said they don’t have leads on a suspect, but hope surveillance footage will help shed some light on the shooting.

Anyone who may have information about Friday’s shooting should call Salt Lake City Police at 801-799-3000. Tips can remain anonymous.