Funeral scheduled for victims of murder-suicide

Olga Basurto holds her rosary beads as she participates in a rosary for Martha Gutierrez Thursday evening in front of her aparments at the Redwoods Apartments. Gutierrez's body was found in a field of Highway 156 near Highway 152 in Hollister earlier in t

A joint funeral will be held for Martha Gutierrez, Abel Gutierrez and Lucero Luna-Gutierrez on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Saint Mary’s Church.

The funeral comes six days after Martha’s body was discovered – with a gunshot wound to the head – by ranchers on Highway 156 in San Benito County near Casa De Fruta.

Police believe that Abel Gutierrez, a 27-year-old Iraq war veteran who was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, shot and killed his mother Martha in his car then dumped her body.

  On March 14, Abel also shot and killed his 11-year-old sister Lucero and then turned the gun on himself at the Redwood Apartment complex near Mantelli Drive in Gilroy where the family lived, according to police. From there, the search continued for Martha, who police said since the discovery of Abel and Lucero that Martha was likely fatally wounded or dead.

Her body was found March 22 after police suspended a search of the westside of Gilroy and began exploring rural areas south and east of town.

Police are still unsure of the sequence of the murders, and have launched an investigation to uncover a timeline of events, Gilroy Police Sgt. Chad Gallacinao said.

Gallacinao said that there is still a lot of evidence police are sifting through, and that the investigation remains open.  “This is far from over,” he said.

Saint Mary Church is located at 11 First Street. The service is open to the community.

How veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder or other mental disorders can get help:

  • San Jose Outpatient Clinic: 363-3063
  • The San Jose Vet Center: 993-0729
  • The Community Veterans Project, Palo Alto: (650) 233-0400 or
  • When in an emotional crisis, 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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