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Authorities are searching for the ex-boyfriend of a women who was found shot to death in her own car this week.
Pasadena, Texas Police issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday for 30-year-old Daniel Chacon, the day after his ex-girlfriend, Maira Gutierrez, 38, was found dead.
Witnesses on Monday phoned police to report having seen Chacon allegedly forcing Gutierrez into her SUV at gunpoint outside his apartment complex in Pasadena — a southeast suburb of Houston. He was immediately identified as a suspect.
Hours later, Gutierrez’s vehicle was found 13 miles west of Chacon's Pasadena home. The SUV appeared to have been run off the road, Houston television station KHOU reported, and came to rest at a site used to store concrete Jersey barriers.
Gutierrez's body was inside; she had died from a gunshot wound, according to KTRK-TV.
Chacon remained at large as of Wednesday afternoon.
Authorities haven’t specified where they think he might be or where search efforts are being concentrated. However, Pasadena police Chief Josh Bruegger said Chacon has “ties” to Mexico.
According to police, Chacon and Gutierrez sporadically dated for approximately two years and share a 5-month-old daughter. Gutierrez reportedly moved out of her ex-boyfriend’s apartment sometime in September.
Prior to the split, Gutierrez had called police and accused Chacon of physically abusing her on at least two recent occasions.
On Sept. 1, Chacon contacted law enforcement and claimed that Gutierrez was driving drunk with their child in the vehicle. His accusations were ultimately unsubstantiated, according to Pasadena police.
While in the presence of authorities, however, Gutierrez accused Chacon of assaulting her days earlier with a firearm. A gun was never located by police on the premises, KTRK-TV reported, and Gutierrez ultimately declined to press charges. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office then also declined to pursue charges in court.
Police believe Gutierrez moved out after the incident.
Then on Sept. 14, Gutierrez phoned police to report that, several hours before, Chacon had dragged her through his apartment by her hair while she was visiting the couple’s infant daughter, and claimed that he had attacked her several times before. Police were unable to track Chacon down that day, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office once again opted to not charge Chacon criminally, though it referred the case to family violence investigators.
"We took this very [seriously] from the beginning," Bruegger said per KTRK-TV. "We have to have victims' cooperation throughout the process and the decisions are made based on evidence."
Court filings obtained by Oxygen.com show Chacon has a criminal history dating back to 2008. He was twice convicted of domestic violence against his ex-wife and for violating a protective order. According to KTRK-TV, he shares three children with his former spouse.
"This hurts me so much,” Gutierrez’s sister, Anna Gutierrez, told KTRK-TV. “We want justice for her. This monster needs to be found."
Gutierrez’s family planned to hold a balloon release on Wednesday to pay tribute to her life.
"Maira did not deserve this," her ex-husband, Jimmy Puente, also told the station. "[She] was a great person. A great, beautiful person."
No other information was immediately released by authorities. Oxygen.com has reached out to the Pasadena Police Department for comment. Attorney information wasn’t immediately available for Chacon.
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