Alejandra Gutierrez

Alejandra Gutierrez

Birth
Guanajuato, Mexico
Death 8 Dec 2005 (aged 9–10)
Muncie, Delaware County, Indiana, USA
Burial Colonia Mexico, Nezahualcóyotl Municipality, México, Mexico
Memorial ID 12805037 · View Source
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ALEJANDRA GUTIERREZ Age 10 years, of Fort Wayne, IN, passed away on Dec. 19, 2005. Christopher Funeral Home, 219-962-4115.
Published in the Post-Tribune on 12/23/2005. The initial appearance of a Fort Wayne teen officials have named as a suspect in the disappearance and slaying of 10-year-old Alejandra Gutierrez has been delayed another week at the request of his attorney – the former Allen County prosecutor.
Juan Rosales, 17, of the 4000 block of South Calhoun Street, is being held at the Allen County Juvenile Center. He had been scheduled to make an initial appearance in juvenile court today, but Fort Wayne attorney Robert W. Gevers II asked to delay the hearing, Allen Superior Court Referee Diana Lee said.
Lee granted the request. Gevers is not in the office this week, and an attempt to reach him for comment Tuesday was not successful. Gevers, the former Allen County prosecutor, now does criminal defense work in adult and juvenile courts.
Rosales previously made an appearance in juvenile court on charges stemming from investigations of Alejandra’s disappearance and death and the Dec. 13 quadruple slayings of a mother and her three young daughters. Lee could not specify the exact charges.
Rosales, who has no formal juvenile criminal history, is scheduled to make his initial appearance in juvenile court Jan. 4, Lee said.
Public defender Thomas C. Allen had been appointed to represent Rosales in juvenile court, but Chief Public Defender Charles Leonard said Allen will withdraw from the case because Gevers is now representing the teen.
Delaware County investigators and Deputy Prosecutor Mark McKinney have named Rosales as a suspect in the abduction and slaying of Alejandra, whose body was recovered last week. She had been missing since Dec. 8, when she was last seen walking to her bus stop. McKinney previously told The Journal Gazette officials believe Alejandra was sexually assaulted before she was killed.
No charges have been filed in Alejandra’s death.
Officials are working to determine Rosales’ role and waiting for Indiana State Police to process evidence gathered during the autopsy.
Rosales, meanwhile, is also listed as a person with information about the slayings of Ana Casas, 28, and her three young daughters, all of whom were strangled to death in their South Calhoun Street home Dec. 13.
Casas’ husband, Simon Rios, 33, is charged with four counts of murder and two counts of moving a body in connection with those deaths.
According to court documents, Rios confessed to officers after calling them to his house before dawn Dec. 13. While he has not been charged, he has been named a suspect in Alejandra’s disappearance.
Rios and Rosales do not live far apart on South Calhoun Street and police said the two were known to hang out and repair cars together. Alejandra’s bus stop was about two houses away from Rios' home.
Emma Gutierrez rested her arm on the edge of the open casket near the head of her daughter Alejandra.
Then she laid down her head and sobbed.
Hundreds of friends, relatives and strangers filed past the Gutierrez family during a public viewing of 10-year-old Alejandra’s body Monday morning at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on Harrison Street.
Befitting a ceremony for a little girl who friends said often translated for her parents and older family members, the comments throughout the day were first given in Spanish, then English.
During the viewing, the Rev. Jaime Flores of Iglesia Bautista Emanuel Church said Alejandra’s family and friends should remember her as “a little girl with lots of passion” whose disappearance and death brought a community together.
“We are here to say goodbye to the daughter of Fort Wayne who transformed our hearts and our lives,” Flores said in Spanish. “She’s left us a legacy of love.”
Alejandra’s body was found Dec. 19 in a wooded area northeast of Muncie in Delaware County.
Autopsy results released Thursday said she died by strangulation and her death was ruled a homicide. She had been missing since Dec. 8, when she was last seen leaving the family’s South Clinton Street home for school.
The discovery of Alejandra’s body came on the heels of more heartbreak. Ana Casas, 28, and her three young daughters – one of whom had been a friend of Alejandra’s – were found dead Dec. 13 in their home just a few blocks from the bus stop where Alejandra was headed when she went missing.
Simon Rios, 33, Casas’ husband and the children’s father, has been charged in connection with the deaths. Rios also is a suspect in Alejandra’s death, along with 17-year-old Juan Rosales of Fort Wayne.
Flores said Alejandra’s family and friends should not worry that they were not present to protect her during her last moments.
“Perverseness and sickness are out there all over,” Flores said. “But God is always present – always.”
Donnie Foster of Fort Wayne greeted people at the door and asked them to sign a guestbook for the family that will be taken to Mexico, where Alejandra is to be buried later this week.
Foster, who has young children, lives just three houses from Simon Rios. His children have played in Rios’ yard, he said, and he has exchanged pleasantries with Rios once or twice.
Foster, who is white, said he believes God has used the recent events to bring together his diverse neighborhood.
“It just united white, Mexican and black,” he said. “We have to build on it.”
Foster said the deaths motivated him to start educating children in the use of code words. Parents should teach their children a code word, and if someone tries to pick up the child and doesn’t know the code word, the child would know not to go with that person.
“Alejandra has become our statistic,” he said.
He waved his hand to encompass the many children in the parish hall.
“These kids don’t need to become statistics,” he said. “Our kids don’t need to become statistics.”
The Rev. John Overmyer of St. Patrick’s said many in his congregation struggled to celebrate Christmas in the wake of Alejandra’s death. Alejandra’s family belongs to the parish; Rios, Casas and their children also attended St. Patrick’s.
“There’s a lot of doubt, there’s a lot of questions,” Overmyer said of his congregation. “It wouldn’t surprise me if some people were feeling almost guilty.”
Overmyer said he tried to acknowledge the tragedies in his Christmas homilies by telling the story of King Herod in the Gospel of Matthew.
Herod ordered all male children younger than age 2 in Bethlehem killed when he learned of Jesus Christ’s birth, Overmyer said. In Roman Catholic tradition, the children are called the Holy Innocents, and they are remembered Dec. 28.
In that sense, the birth of Christ also included tragedy in this way, but Overmyer said he has tried to remind his parish that God will always prevail.
“The light of the world shines in the darkness, and the dark cannot overcome it,” he said.
During Alejandra’s funeral Mass in the church next door to the parish hall, the crowd filled the pews and spilled over into the back aisle and entranceway.
Inside the church, evergreen trees with white lights brightened the altar, as did pots of red poinsettias. A large Nativity scene decorated a front corner of the church.
Bishop John M. D’Arcy led the packed church in prayer, as he had on Dec. 16 at a funeral Mass for Casas and her daughters.
“We mourn the loss of this beautiful child, and we pray for her family, and we love them,” D’Arcy said..
Echoing his words from the funeral of Casas and her children, D’Arcy said that God wishes for little girls to grow up.
“This life was taken away from this child and her family in a most brutal way.”
Addressing the Gutierrez family, D’Arcy said Alejandra will never be forgotten by the community.
He urged them to keep their faith strong.
“Evil, for a people of faith, will never have the last word,” he said.
After the Mass, the crowd filed outside to watch as Alejandra’s white casket was loaded into a waiting hearse.
Lily Pedroza shivered in the bitter December wind.
“My heart goes out to them,” said Pedroza, who said her children’s father is a relative of Alejandra’s. “As a mother, my heart goes out to them.”
She shook her head.
“It’s sad that people come from Mexico to look for something better here,” she said, “and something like this happens.”
EL CUITZILLO, GUANAJUATO, Mexico — The Gutiérrez family’s ordeal came to an end Thursday as 10-year-old Alejandra Gutiérrez – who’s been dubbed “Fort Wayne’s daughter” since she went missing Dec. 8 — was laid to rest Thursday in her Mexican hometown.
Alejandra will be El Cuitzillo’s daughter, as well. A crowd of several hundred people filled the village’s church to overflowing and accompanied her through nearby streets on a 2-mile walk to the village cemetery.
The Gutiérrez family flew to Mexico City on Tuesday, arriving in the pre-dawn hours to a family welcome. Public viewing of Alejandra was Wednesday night, attended by about 400 mourners, according to Lucía Gutiérrez, Alejandra’s sister.
After about 10 days of searching for the missing girl, police found Alejandra’s body in a wooded area in Delaware County on Dec. 19.
José Gutiérrez, Alejandra’s father, said the decision to bury his daughter in Mexico was a family choice.
“We just decided we wanted to have her here,” he explained.
At the Mass for Alejandra, the pews were filled to capacity, and an overflow crowd peered in through the church’s three doors. Another 100 mourners waited outside.
As the smell of incense filled the church, Alejandra was remembered as “an angel, free of sin.” José Gutiérrez and Emma Niño, Alejandra’s mother, were called forth to receive communion, reminded that “just as God gives us children, he takes them away” and that “the Virgin Mother will share her strength with Emma” in a moving tribute.
“That Mass was for José and Emma. It will give them lots of strength,” said Alejandra’s cousin, Guadalupe Niño.
Alejandra’s casket was white, crowned by an arrangement of white carnations and roses.
When Mass ended, escorted by a police motorcycle, squad car and Spanish-language television crew, the funeral procession crept through El Cuitzillo on its way to the cemetery.
The procession headed west toward Uriangato, directly into the setting sun. Ten across, many holding hands, the 400 mourners made their way through the streets, taking up both sides of the boulevard. Many were not immediate family members, but village residents who had learned of the tragedy.
“Since this was so different, since her death was so tragic, since she was a little girl, even if she wasn’t a member of your family, you had to be touched by it,” Guadalupe Niño said.
At one point, the chatter from the crowd was so loud that it reverberated against the houses lining the route. One boy continuously caressed the hearse’s rear bumper, as if to accompany Alejandra on her final journey.
José Gutiérrez walked without a word, head bowed, eyes swollen from crying. Emma Niño was unable to make the trip to the cemetery. Martha Gutiérrez, Alejandra’s oldest sister, walked alongside her father, taking her mother’s place.
“It was just too much for my mother to bear,” said Lucía Gutiérrez.
At the cemetery, frenzied viewing of the open casket gave way to emotion as Martha placed a single red rose on her sister’s coffin. Bouquets were placed lovingly around the gravestone.
Relief was palpable on all sides of Alejandra’s family as the funeral came to a close.
“This is over with. She’s finally going to rest in peace. She’s going to live out her youth in heaven,” Guadalupe Niño said.
“Thank God this nightmare is over. We’re never going to forget this,” said cousin Sandra López. A memorial service in Fort Wayne for Alejandra was held Monday.
As the burial ended and the mourners filed away, José Gutiérrez was both philosophical and upbeat, smiling, introducing and organizing people.
“You feel joy and anger, but we know we’ve done all we could. Now we’re going to move forward. We’re going to go back to Fort Wayne and go on with our lives. I just hope something like this will never happen again,” he said.


Her final resting place
A crowd of several hundred people filled El Cuitzillo’s church and accompanied the body of Alejandra Gutiérrez through nearby streets on a 2-mile walk to the village cemetery.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: MadameB
  • Added: 28 Dec 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12805037
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Alejandra Gutierrez (1995–8 Dec 2005), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12805037, citing Panteón Civil de Iztapalapa, Colonia Mexico, Nezahualcóyotl Municipality, México, Mexico ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .