(KOIN) – A man has been taken into custody in connection with his wife’s murder nearly one year after her remains were discovered in a forested area in Marion County.
On Monday, Marion County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Squad detectives helped apprehend 42-year-old Gustavo Villanueva Gutierrez in Laredo, TX. It came after a Marion County grand jury indicted him secretly Aug. 20 on charges of murder and abuse of a corpse in the death of his wife, Maribel Gutierrez-Salinas.
The Laredo Morning Times reports that Gutierrez, a truck driver, was arrested by Laredo police officers during a traffic stop after being alerted by the sheriff’s office that he may be in the region.
On Sept. 1, 2012, a Mill City, Ore., hunter stumbled onto a human skeleton north of Gates in a forested area in Santiam Canyon. Detectives eventually confirmed the remains belonged to Salinas, who went missing in February 2011 at the age of 36. Cold case investigators later linked Gutierrez to her murder. Prior to her disappearance the couple resided in Tualatin, according to Jodie Bureta, Marion County deputy district attorney.
The Marion County District Attorney’s Office reports that it chose to conceal the identity of the remains until this week in order to keep from compromising the investigation. The cause and circumstances of her death were not disclosed.
Gutierrez is lodged in the Webb County Detention Center awaiting extradition back to Oregon.
— Faris Tanyos