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Body Near Santa Clara County Orchard Is Mother Of Iraq Vet

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Martha Gutierrez

Martha Gutierrez (Gilroy Police Dept.)

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GILROY (CBS SF) – The body of a missing Gilroy woman, mother of an Iraq War vet who killed his young sister before killing himself last week, was found Thursday near a well-known orchard in unincorporated Santa Clara County, according to Gilroy police.

52-year-old Martha Gutierrez’s body was discovered in an area near the Casa De Fruta orchard, said Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith. The area is near the border of Santa Clara and San Benito counties.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Investigators had been trying to locate her body since then while simultaneously developing leads based on forensic evidence and information provided by the public, Gilroy police Sgt. Chad Gallacinao said.

“We were always trying to review evidence to narrow down where Martha might have been located,” he said.

Following up on a lead, search teams scoured an area near the San Benito County line for four or five hours Wednesday without success, Gallacinao said.

Lt. Troy Smith with the Sheriff’s Office said a worker in a vineyard found the body Thursday morning just off of Highway 156 west of Highway 152 near the Cedar House Restaurant.

Gutierrez has been missing since her son, 27-year-old son Abel, killed his 11-year-old sister, Lucero, and then turned the gun on himself on March 14.

Police said they found evidence in her son’s car that suggested she was likely badly injured or dead.

Family members told authorities they suspected Abel Gutierrez suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his service in Iraq.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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