Engaged couple found dead in grisly discovery in Mexicos do not travel area

An architect, his fiancée and two of her relatives have been found dead in a van riddled with bullet holes in a part of Mexico under a "do not travel" warning.

José Gutiérrez, from Ohio, US, was in Mexico visiting fiancée Daniela Pichardo over Christmas. The four disappeared on Christmas Day.

Local news outlets reported four bodies were found in the state of Zacatecas last week.

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According to Fox 19, three of the four were confirmed to be Pichardo, her sister and her cousin. Mexican authorities told Gutiérrez's parents that the fourth was likely their son and they were headed to give DNA samples to confirm that on Friday (January 20).

Investigators are still waiting for DNA confirmation.

Gutiérrez's employer Champlin Architecture announced his death in a Facebook post yesterday (Tuesday, January 24).

It read: "It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we inform you of the death of our colleague and friend, José Gutierrez, who died tragically while visiting his fiancé, Daniela Pichardo, in Mexico during the holidays.

"We will all miss him more than words can express."

Gutiérrez and Pichardo were planning to get married later this year.

TV Azteca reported their last known location was the town of Víboras where Pichardo shared her location with her mum.

The vehicle, believed to be the one they were travelling in, was found with blown tires, an airbag activated and bullet holes in the back.

Zacatecas is listed by the US Department of State under a "do not travel" advisory for Americans.

The warning reads: "Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

"Violent crime, extortion, and gang activity are widespread in Zacatecas state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping."

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