GILROY (CBS SF) – The search continued for a missing woman whose son — 27-year-old Iraq War veteran Abel Gutierrez—is believed to have fatally shot his 11-year-old sister before turning the gun on himself in the family’s Gilroy apartment Wednesday night, police said.

Police believe that Martha Gutierrez, 52, who also lives at the apartment home located at 9005 Kern Ave., may be critically injured or dead after investigators found what appears to be her cellphone in Abel Gutierrez’s car, where there were also signs of a recent violent assault.

Investigators determined that a gun had been fired in the car and that someone was shot inside the vehicle, police said.

Martha Gutierrez was last seen at the home at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

Officers were first called there around 9 p.m. Wednesday after a housemate who lived with the family called police, suspecting that something was wrong.

Police found Abel Gutierrez’s body with a self-inflicted gunshot wound and the body of his 11-year-old sister, who had also been shot.

Police did not return calls for comment this morning and are not releasing the girl’s name, but Gilroy Unified School District Superintendent Deborah Flores said she was a sixth grader at South Valley Middle School.

About 10 counselors were on hand to talk to students at the school Thursday, where 725 students are enrolled in sixth, seventh and eighth grades, Flores said.

“We had students going to the library all day to meet with the counselors,” Flores said.

A few students had to be sent home because they were so upset, she said.

Family members have said they suspected Abel Gutierrez was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in the Iraq War.

Gilroy police had received multiple calls from the family’s apartment recently.

Police are asking for the public’s help to find Martha Gutierrez as well as any information about the whereabouts of Abel Gutierrez before his death.

Investigators were also seeking information on the whereabouts of Gutierrez’s vehicle, a green 2000 Ford Mustang with Washington state license plate No. 169-VVJ, in the days before the deaths. The car is now in police custody.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Michael Bolton at (408) 846-0350.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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