Search continues for ex-boyfriend as loved ones plan vigil for Pasadena mother kidnapped and killed

Police are still searching for Daniel Chacon in connection with the death of his ex-girlfriend Maira Gutierrez.

Jeff Ehling Image
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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Family and friends plan to gather on Wednesday for a balloon release in memory of Maira Gutierrez. Loved ones said she cried for help, but the system failed her.

PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- Family and friends will hold a balloon release on Wednesday to honor the life of 38-year-old Maira Gutierrez.

The mother of four was found shot to death earlier this week, and police say her ex-boyfriend is wanted in connection to her death.

The memorial for Gutierrez is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the 5200 block of Cedar Crest Street, where her body was found early this week. Participants are asked to bring pink balloons.

Records show that Gutierrez's ex-boyfriend, identified by police as 30-year-old Daniel Chacon, had a history of domestic violence.

Police said witnesses called them on Monday morning, saying they saw Chacon forcing Gutierrez into her own SUV outside his home in Pasadena. Police found the SUV Monday evening, with her body inside of it.

Records show Chacon's criminal history of violence against women in Harris County dates back to 2012. He was convicted twice in the past of assaulting his former common-law wife and once for violating a protective order.

READ MORE: Warrant issued for arrest of ex-boyfriend wanted in kidnapping, shooting death of Pasadena woman

He shares three children with her. Her family said they are not speaking out publicly in order to protect them.

Chacon also shares a 5-month-old daughter with Gutierrez.

Pasadena police said Gutierrez and Chacon were in an off-and-on two-year relationship. Both had been involved in two previous domestic violence cases with the department.

On Sept. 1, Chacon called Pasadena police to report that Gutierrez was driving a vehicle with their child intoxicated. It was later determined she was not, according to Pasadena police Chief Josh Bruegger.

During an investigation into that case, Gutierrez made allegations of an assault involving a firearm that happened several days before. Officers conducted a search of the apartment but did not find a firearm. Bruegger added that Gutierrez did not want to pursue charges, but officers contacted the Harris County District Attorney's Office about potential charges, but they were declined at the time.

SEE ALSO: Ex-boyfriend kidnaps woman at gunpoint, her body later found in abandoned vehicle, Pasadena PD says

Authorities believe Gutierrez moved out of the apartment she shared with Chacon between the first and second incident.

On Sept. 14, Gutierrez went to Chacon's apartment to visit their 5-month-old daughter. She reported that Chacon grabbed her by the hair and dragged her through the apartment. She added that he had assaulted her several times in the past.

Several hours after this incident, Gutierrez called Pasadena police. Officers arrived, took all her information, and tried to find the suspect but were unsuccessful. Officers contacted the district attorney's office again about charges, but they were declined and referred to family violence investigators.

"We took this very (seriously) from the beginning," Bruegger said. "We have to have victims' cooperation throughout the process and the decisions are made based on evidence."

Less than a month later, Gutierrez's heartbroken family is mourning her death.

"This hurts me so much. We want justice for her. This monster needs to be found," Maira's sister Anna Gutierrez said. "We love her so much. She did everything to help us and her kids."

Chacon is charged with kidnapping Gutierrez at gunpoint, and police are calling him a person of interest in her murder. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Police believe Chacon is dangerous and may still have a gun.

"I know he's got ties to Mexico," Bruegger explained. "But I'm told that he hasn't spoken to them in a number of years."

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