Family remembers mother of 4 whose body was found inside SUV following kidnapping in Pasadena; suspect remains on the run, police say

Vigil to be held for woman who was killed

PASADENA, Texas – A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a man accused of kidnapping and fatally shooting a woman whose body was found inside an SUV in Pasadena on Monday, police said.

Officers with the Pasadena Police Department said they were putting ribbons around trees Monday morning to raise awareness about Domestic Violence Awareness Month when they got a call about a kidnapping.

Now, the person of interest involved in that domestic violence case, who was identified by investigators as 30-year-old Daniel Chacon is being sought after police said the victim, identified by her family as Maira Gutierrez, was found inside an SUV in the 5200 block of Cedar Crest.

Police said they received reports that the suspect forced the mother of four into the vehicle in the 3800 block of Red Bluff in Pasadena. The SUV was reportedly located on Cedar Crest near Sunnycrest, with Gutierrez dead from a gunshot wound.

Chacon and Gutierrez have a 5-month-old daughter together. Chief Bruegger said the little girl was inside the apartment at the time with Chacon’s current girlfriend. The chief said the toddler is now with family.

During a news conference, the chief shared two recent incidents that Pasadena officers responded to.

The first was on Sept. 1, 2022. Chief Bruegger said Chacon called police claiming Gutierrez was drunk driving with their child in the vehicle.

“Officers got out there and investigated and they learned she was not intoxicated,” the chief said. “During the course of the investigation, she made an allegation of an assault that occurred several days prior there at the apartment.”

Bruegger said an investigator referred Gutierrez to a local domestic violence advocacy group, an offer he said she didn’t accept.

Days later, on Sept. 14, the chief said officers responded to the Red Bluff Road, the home the couple previously shared together when Gutierrez called them alleging Chacon dragged her by the hair through the apartment.

“The victim reported that the suspect had assaulted her numerous times in the past. Several hours after this occurred, she contacted the Pasadena Police Department, we responded, went out there, took all the information, and tried to locate the suspect at the time with negative results.”

The same investigator investigated each incident and took the information to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, but charges weren’t filed because of a lack of evidence, according to the police chief and an official with the D.A.’s office.

A check of Chacon’s criminal history in Harris County shows he was previously charged with assault on a family member once in 2017 and twice in 2012, and violating a protection order, among others. None of these cases involve Gutierrez.

KPRC 2′s Rilwan Balogun spoke with the family named in the court documents who said a relative is the mother of three of Chacon’s children. The two dated for several years beginning in high school. The family member wouldn’t go into detail about why a protection order was issued against Chacon, but said they didn’t like Chacon or the relationship he had with their relative.

Gutierrez’s family members feel the 38-year-olds death could have been avoided.

“We took this very seriously from the beginning,” said chief Bruegger. “From an initial look, I believe our officers and investigators followed protocols, but this case highlights how quickly these cases can evolve. Investigators and officers are invested in these cases, and when a tragedy like this strikes, we always look to see what we can do better.”

The family has since set up a GoFundMe account to help with Gutierrez’s funeral expenses.

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