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Jorge “Louie” Gutierrez, Sr., of East Moline, Ill., was found wrapped in a sleeping bag in the bed of his maroon 1983 Chevrolet pickup truck in the early afternoon on Tuesday, October 19, 2004. The 47-year-old Gutierrez was believed to have been killed two days earlier on Oct. 17, 2004.
Officials found the pickup truck parked along the Mississippi River in the 3400 block of South Concorde Street in Davenport, Iowa.
Gutierrez died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.
“Louie” was a big Dallas Cowboys fan and his truck was covered in Cowboys stickers and signs.
There is a $1000 reward for information leading to an arrest in this case.
Dora Reyna carries a tattered-edged greeting card filled with photos and notes in her purse.
The rubber band-bound messages are to the man she calls her first love.
He’ll never get them.
The body of Jorge L. “Louie” Gutierrez Sr., a 47-year-old retired construction worker, father and grandfather, was found two years ago in the back of his truck.
The vehicle had been stripped of anything valuable and backed up to the Mississippi River in 3400 block of South Concord Street in Davenport. The death was ruled a homicide by blunt force trauma.
“I tell him things,” Ms. Reyna said. “I feel he’s still here to listen.”
Davenport police Capt. David Struckman said while the death remains unsolved, it is still an active investigation. Police are looking for the public to help.
Because his body was left to make it look like he died in his sleep, coupled with other evidence in the case, his family believes the people responsible for his death must have known him. They think it’s more than one person because Mr. Gutierrez was a burly man, and it would take more than one person to carry him.
“When they took his life, they didn’t just take that, but they took a family too,” Ms. Reyna, the mother of two of Mr. Gutierrez’s children, said.
“I think someone out there knows something,” she continued. “I think someone has some guilt.”
Although Ms. Reyna and Mr. Gutierrez never married after 15 years of dating, they kept in close contact until his death. They met in Moline when she was 15. He was a native of Texas, and a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan.
She wears a heart-shaped locket with a photograph and a strand of his hair. She explains it was a sometimes rocky relationship, but Ms. Reyna has already picked out a burial plot to go with Mr. Gutierrez’s ashes. “I’m going to be buried next to this man,” she said.
Some of his ashes are with family in the Quad-Cities, the rest with family in Texas. A handful has been sprinkled on the Cowboys stadium, as was his wishes.
Their daughter, Yvonne Gutierrez, 28, said her father played a large role in the lives of his grandchildren. He spoiled them so much their school asked him to stop so the children could learn responsibility, she said.
“He’d call every night and ask what they wanted for breakfast,” Ms. Gutierrez said. “He’d bring it over, something different for each one. He’d even buy white, chocolate and strawberry milk so the children could all choose what they wanted to drink.”
Mr. Gutierrez had stopped answering both of his cell phones, something he would normally never do, by 4 p.m. that Sunday. Police believe he died sometime before then.
“I was the second to last person to talk to him,” Ms. Gutierrez said. “I don’t know who was the last.”
She said losing her father was hard on the family. The grandchildren still talk about him. Three more have been born since his death. When the Cowboys play, which some in the family are paying less attention to every year, they remember how he would have reacted.
Mr. Gutierrez was known to be blunt with his feelings. If he didn’t like you, he wouldn’t hide it, but his family insists, there was a side that was easy to love. It was the side that spoiled his grandchildren, sent money to care for his mother and always hosted parties for birthdays, Thanksgiving and Cowboy games.
“His house was everybody’s house,” Ms. Reyna said.
All Ms. Gutierrez wants is justice for her father before his grandchildren are old enough to attend a trial. Right now, they’re between the ages of 1 and 9.
“It would be too hard on them,” she said. “That’s a lot of hatred for a kid to have.”
Copyright 2013 QCOnline
Jorge L. “George” Gutierrez, Sr., 47, of East Moline, Illinois, was born Nov. 9, 1956, in Del Rio, Texas, the son of Jose L. and Delia Hernandez Gutierrez.
He died Oct. 19, 2004, in Davenport, IA.
He was a construction worker for Valley Construction in Rock Island, Illinois. He was a member of the Local 309 and the #1 Dallas Cowboys Fan Club. He enjoyed watching the cooking shows on television and never missed a Cowboys game. He loved going to Walmart.
Survivors included his children, Jorge L. Gutierrez, Jr., Zoila Gutierrez, Fidencio Gutierrez, and Elizabeth Gutierrez, all of Kingsville, Texas, and Yvonne Gutierrez of East Moline, Rodolfo Gutierrez, Erica (Hector) Gonzalez, and Louie Gutierrez, all of Davenport; 15 grandchildren; mother Delia Gutierrez of Kingsville; brothers and sisters (and spouses) Jose Gutierrez, Lorena Gutierrez, Sylvia (Mel) Alvarez, Rosa Gutierrez, Esmeralda Gutierrez, Noe (Glenda) Perez, Irma Perez, all of Kingsville, and Eleazar (Brenda) Medina of Davenport; and special friends Dora Reyna of Rock Island and Margaret Torres of Davenport.
He was preceded in death by his father.
A handful of Mr. Gutierrez’s ashes were sprinkled at the Dallas Cowboys stadium, as was his wish.
If you have any information regarding Louie Gutierrez’s unsolved murder, please contact the Davenport Police Department at (563) 326-7979 or the Davenport Crime Stoppers tip line at (309) 762-9500.