One year after brother’s death, man fights for changes in Rainey Street district

A big brother's love can stretch for miles. 

"He was just so sweet. He was always the nice one, I was the mean one. I was always protective of him,” said Mitchell Gutierrez.

Mitchell Gutierrez had an inseparable relationship with his younger brother Martin, but those days were tragically cut short on Nov. 19. 2018. Twenty-five-year-old Martin disappeared after a night out on Rainey Street. Video from bars showed him behaving oddly.

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"His behavior changed from one bar to another,” said Gutierrez.

A week later, his body was found in the Colorado River along Lady Bird Lake. The autopsy report said he died of an accidental drowning. The Gutierrez family is not buying it.

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"He had a contusion on the back of his head. On the report they said that could've happened anywhere...whatever," said Gutierrez.

Toxicology results showed Martin was intoxicated when he died, but no prescription or illicit drugs were in his system. Mitchell believes there is more to the story than just an "accident", especially with authorities not finding Martin's body until a week later.

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"It's so offensive for them to say that to us. There's no way. There are a lot of agents that are untraceable that don't pop up on a normal tox screen. I work in the medical field, we run tox screens on almost every patient in the ICU,” said Gutierrez.

To this day he believes someone hurt his brother. 

"He was always happy. If he met someone that was nice he'd shake their hand. I think someone may have taken advantage of that," said Gutierrez.

This anniversary comes just days after 21-year-old Christian Pugh was found alive but injured by Lady Bird Lake, near the Congress Avenue bridge.

"There's no way it's a coincidence, with the events, the demographics of everyone who keeps going," Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez is hoping more lighting and surveillance cameras can be installed to keep Rainey Street goers safe. In the meantime, he continues to visit where Martin was found, each week to reflect.