Friends react to new evidence in fire related death

Friends react to new evidence in fire related death

New information Thursday came into our newsroom, following a story we brought you in May about a Milton–Freewater man’s sudden death.

29-year-old Marcos Gutierrez was found under the eastside bridge along the Walla Walla River leaving investigators unsure about what happened.

Reporter Tori Cooper spoke with a friend of Gutierrez who says new criminal evidence in the case is shocking.

“The story that’s being told just doesn’t add up,” Friend of Gutierrez, Trevor Moon said.

35-year old Milton-Freewater Dairy Queen owner Trevor moon was friends with Marcos Gutierrez, for over ten years.

“He’s not only just like an employee he was kind of like family to us,” Moon continued.

Oregon state medical examiners say they found very high levels of methamphetamine in Gutierrez’s system.

“Most people that have known him personally have not known him to use methamphetamine,” Moon said.

Moon says it’s a conclusion hard for friends to grasp.

“Seems like it was out of character for the story that’s being painted,” Moon added.

Examiners also found Gutierrez’s body badly burned at the scene and new information is tying the burns to someone no one expected.

“Shocking to us to hear that someone has admitted to doing such a horrible thing, because we’ve known both of these people,” Moon continued.

Moon says the man behind the blaze, Conor Dayton, also worked with Gutierrez at Dairy Queen and that Dayton was a close friend Gutierrez welcomed into his own home.

“Conor had lived with him at one time,” Moon said.

Conor Dayton is now charged with one count of tampering with evidence since burning Gutierrez.

Friends say they miss Gutierrez dearly, that he was a loyal and dependable friend and employee.

“He was always happy smiling at work, he has selfies with almost every single employee there just laughing,” Moon added.

Gutierrez left a lasting impact on many who knew him.

“He was a caring gentile and eccentric person,” Moon said.

Friends are shattered by the loss but Gutierrez is not forgotten.

“Thinking about him every day,” Moon concluded.

24-year-old Conor Dayton is now in custody and his bail is set $25,000 dollars.