The Wilson Times



Monday, February 14, 2011 9:44 AM

Man's birthday killing remains mystery

By Gina Childress | Times Staff Writer

A man who should have celebrated his 24th birthday July 20, 2001, never got the chance. He was gunned down on his birthday and his death remains a mystery.

Armando Zalbala Gutierrez was born July 20, 1977, in Uriongato, Mexico, and later came to North Carolina with his family.

Even after almost 10 years, detectives with the police department haven't given up hope of finding the person or persons responsible for his murder.

Gutierrez was found at approximately 6:29 a.m. on July 20, 2001, at 510 Harper St.

Police were called by a witness who saw Gutierrez lying on the ground. No information was ever released as to why Gutierrez may have been at that location.

When emergency and law enforcement personnel arrived on the scene, they declared Gutierrez deceased. Authorities later said he had been lying there for several hours before being discovered.

He suffered a single, small-caliber gunshot wound to the left shoulder area. The death certificate indicated the interval between the shooting and death was "minutes." The time of death was estimated between 12:40 and 12:45 a.m.

Just days after the Gutierrez's body was discovered, police had little information to go on, officials said. However, they believed robbery was the motive in the murder.

While in Wilson, Gutierrez was living at Lot 20, Shady Rest Mobile Home Park and employed by Bobby L. Skinner Mason Contractor.

The death certificate indicated Gutierrez was never married. His parents were listed as Rodalfo Zavala and Zeferina Gutierrez.

Efforts to find any family members were not successful.

Anyone with information about the murder is asked to call the Wilson Police Department at 399-2323 or Crime Stoppers at 243-2255.

gina@wilsontimes.com | 265-7821
The Wilson Times has partnered with the Wilson Police Department profiling a series of unsolved murders dating back to 1997 and leading up to the present time. This series entitled "Cold Case Files" will feature one case a week until the end of April. Investigators hope by bringing attention to these cases once again, they may be able to bring closure to a family.




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