A Mequon man on March 22 was found guilty on four felony charges in the homicide and disappearance of a Kenosha man.
A jury found Zachariah Anderson guilty in Kenosha County Circuit Court of first-degree intentional homicide, hiding a corpse and two counts of repeat stalking.
Anderson’s ex-girlfriend had been a relationship with the victim, Rosalio Gutierrez Jr, who went missing on May 17, 2020. The jury trial started Feb. 28.
He showed no emotion as the verdict was read out in court following 10 hours of jury deliberations.
The verdict came after a dramatic trial in which Anderson was accused of trying to influence his teenage daughter as she testified against him – while he decided against taking the stand in his own defence.
Gutierrez was last seen alive on 17 May 2020 before he vanished from his apartment in Wood Creek, Kenosha.
His body has never been found.
At the time, Gutierrez, 40, was dating Sadie Beacham – Anderson’s former girlfriend and the mother of his three children.
Prosecutors said that Anderson was jealous of the new relationship and had been stalking his love rival and his former partner.
This jealousy culminated in Anderson turning up at Gutierrez’s apartment and brutally killing him with blunt force on the evening of 17 May, prosecutors said.
He then disposed of Gutierrez’s body in an unknown location.
Two days later, a concerned Ms Beacham visited Guttierez’s home to check on him after she couldn’t get in touch with him.
When she arrived, she discovered the patio door open and blood on the floor, furniture and ceiling of the home.
An area rug was also missing from the property, she told investigators.
Ms Beacham contacted police who carried out a welfare check inside Gutierrez’s home.
Inside, investigators found large amounts of blood and signs of a struggle, according to a criminal complaint.
The victim’s body has never been found but investigators were certain he is dead based on the sheer volume of blood found inside his apartment.
Investigators closed in on Anderson as Ms Beacham revealed that she believed her ex was tracking her movements.
The morning after Gutierrez was last seen alive, surveillance footage captured Anderson going to a local WalMart where he bought garbage bags, latex gloves and bleach wipes. He also bought cans of sardines.
Then, on the day Guttierez’s death was discovered, officers found burn pits smoldering at both Anderson’s home and his farm, with the remains of a bleach bottle and the killer’s clothing among the ashes.
Guttierez’s DNA was also found inside Anderson’s work van and there was evidence that the interior had been scrubbed with bleach. Parts of the vehicle’s interior carpet had also been removed.
Bizarrely, two opened and uneaten cans of sardines were also discovered under the front passenger seat.
Four days after Guttierez’s disappearance, Anderson was arrested and charged with two felony counts of stalking.
That December, he was then also hit with charges of homicide and hiding a corpse.
For the next three years, Anderson denied any involvement in his love rival’s death.
On 15 March, Anderson’s 15-year-old daughter took the stand to testify that her father had asked her to spy on her mother and that he would “frequently” bring up Guttierez when she saw him.
Then, on 24 April – less than one month before the murder – Anderson also allegedly took his daughter with him to spy on the couple. Anderson also went through Gutierrez’s truck and took photos of the vehicle’s licence plate and registration, she said.
“He said something about showing him who the man was, and I didn’t quite understand, but you kind of caught onto things that my dad was referring to or was implying,” she said.
“My dad said to me, he said ‘I may just watch him or follow him to his house one time just for the fun of it.’ Those were his exact words to me.”
Anderson is due back in court May 16 for a sentencing hearing. The homicide charge alone carries a mandatory life sentence.
Gutierrez’s girlfriend reported to police that she had not seen or heard from him since May 17, 2020 and told investigators when she drove to his apartment to check on him no one answered the door and she saw large amounts of blood on the floor and furniture. She contacted police to conduct a welfare check, during which officers discovered blood scattered throughout the main living space and signs of an apparent struggle.
Blood samples taken from the crime scene belonged to Gutierrez, and evidence suggested that he was killed in his home on May 17, 2020 between 9:06p.m. and 9:37p.m.
Gutierrez has not been located or heard from since May 2020 when a friend received a text from him. His credit cards had not been used, and he had not had contact with his two children whom he saw every weekend and normally contacted throughout the week. No other family member, friend or co-worker reported seeing hearing from after he disappeared.
Anderson’s laptop revealed that there was folder entitled “Rosalio Gutierrez Jr” that contained photos of Gutierrez, screenshots of information about him from online court records, photos of his business information, electronic maps of his residence and home address.