Hamilton homicide victim found in a garage Monday identified

Relatives of the victim still being sought, Butler County Coroner’s Office says.

A 41-year-old man has been identified as a homicide victim found Monday in a garage on South 13th Street in Hamilton.

Fernando Reyna Oviedo died of a gunshot wound and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

“Currently, we are still searching for family of the victim,” according to Martin Schneider, coroner’s office administrator. If anyone has any information on how to reach the family, contact the Butler County Coroner’s office at 513-785-5860.

Fermin Garcia-Gutierrez, 46, was charged Tuesday with aggravated murder in the death of Oviedo. On March 29, Garcia-Gutierrez was highlighted by Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones for entering the country illegally multiple times and being deported to Mexico.

Police Chief Craig Bucheit said Wednesday officers believe that two days before Fermin Garcia-Gutierrez, 46, was arrested on March 16 on other charges, he committed the homicide.

On Monday this week, officers received a call about a body in the 1100 block of South 13th Street. The chief said investigators had worked on the case since then, and, “It just so happens we ran into him and had an encounter with him. Unbeknownst to us, he had committed this murder.”

After the body of Oviedo was discovered Monday, investigators interviewed Garcia-Gutierrez Tuesday night.

In a 911 call obtained by the Journal-News using public records laws, a male caller spoke in English and Spanish that was difficult to understand even through and interpreter. He said, “One person in the garage ... he is dead, he is dead.”

He said he had not seen the person in “a couple days. I come back and he’s dead.”

Garcia-Gutierrez was an example used by Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones in a press conference expressing his frustrations with the Biden Administration’s immigration enforcement and border policies. The sheriff said Garcia-Gutierrez was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, having a weapon while intoxicated and obstruction, and he was detained on an ICE holder.

Jones said Garcia-Gutierrez had also been to prison three times and deported seven times to Mexico, but keeps returning.

“Says it takes him two weeks to get back,” the sheriff said.

Before the aggravated murder charge, Garcia-Gutierrez had been facing two years and seven months in prison. The new charge could lead to a 30-year prison sentence or death.

He was arraigned Wednesday morning in Hamilton Municipal Court, and an April 10 hearing has been scheduled.

Jones said that since July 1, 2021, the Butler County Jail has housed 999 illegal immigrants with holders for deportation. Those 999 inmates have faced 1,757 state and local charges, Jones said, and the cost to house them in the jail is $1,816,796.

Staff Writer Michael Pitman contributed to his report

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