Brothers Jose Reyes Ramos and Jorge Moncada Ramos came to the United States hoping to work their way out of poverty. Instead, they found heartache and murder — with one woman at the center of it all.
The Ramos brothers grew up in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Jose was born in 1984, the oldest of four. He helped his mother raise his younger siblings, who looked up to him as a surrogate father. Jose went to Chicago, Illinois in 2008 to live with Jorge, who had moved there several years earlier. Both brothers sent money back to their family in Honduras and hoped to one day move their mother to America as well.
The brothers worked various construction jobs. Jose had a particular affinity for the work and eventually went into business for himself.
“He had advanced tremendously in the construction business. He started to be his own boss. He was learning how to fix apartments, making progress daily in his craft,” cousin Angela Martinez told “Snapped,” airing Sundays at 6/5c on Archiweekend.
Jorge, meanwhile, began dating a local girl named Daisy Gutierrez. Though she was born in Chicago, Daisy’s parents had emigrated from Mexico before she was born. Daisy and Jorge would have two children together. However, the couple often fought and broke up on bad terms.
In May 2013, Jorge went to the Chicago police to report Jose missing. No one had seen or heard from him in four days.
“On May 21st in 2013, he just fell off the earth,” Chicago police detective Gregory Andras told producers.
Jorge feared the worst, given his last text message from his brother.
“His brother got a text message from him that kind of disturbed him and it was the Spanish word for death [“muerte”]. That was the last time that anybody had contact with Jose,” Andras told producers.
Police obtained Jose’s phone records, which showed the “death” message was the last time his phone was active. It also showed he had been exchanging flirtatious text messages with Daisy Gutierrez.
“[Jorge] indicated to me that Jose was madly in love with Daisy. His brother and him were at odds over the fact that Jose wanted to date his ex-girlfriend and essentially become a surrogate father to Jorge’s two children,” Chicago police detective Hector Matias told producers.
While police briefly considered Jorge as a potential suspect, they ultimately ruled him out. Jorge told detectives they should be looking more closely at Daisy Gutierrez.
“[Daisy] threatened me and my brother many times,” Jorge would later tell Chicago ABC-affiliate WLS-TV in 2013. “And she told me she would kill me and my brothers in Honduras.”
At the time of Jose’s disappearance, Daisy was living with her parents in southwest Chicago. Jose’s cellphone had pinged near her home on the same night he went missing.
“All our leads were leading to Daisy,” Chicago police detective Sergeant Mark Skweres told producers.
Detectives went to Gutierrez’s parents’ home where they found her children, but no sign of Gutierrez herself. Her mother said she didn’t know where she was.
Jose had been missing for two months when Gutierrez contacted police in early August 2013. She said she was living in New Jersey with her boyfriend, 22-year-old Milton Miranda.
Gutierrez claimed she hadn’t seen Jose since she left Chicago. She said she had been traveling to New Jersey by bus around the time he went missing.
“When they had the bus records tracked down, there was a ticket purchased for Milton and for Daisy,” Andras told producers. “Daisy said that Miranda was never in Chicago so she was lying.” The tickets were dated just days after Jose’s disappearance.
Detectives interviewed Gutierrez on August 10, after she returned to Chicago. She then claimed that on the night of May 21, Jose had come over to her parents’ house. She told detectives that while out on a walk they were abducted by members of a South American drug gang.
“A group of unknown men took her and Jose in a vehicle and then they took them either to the forest preserve or some wooded area on the southwest side of the city where Jose was killed,” assistant prosecutor Jennifer Bagby told “Snapped.”
She claimed they dismembered the body and threw it away in plastic bags, and she was then able to escape her abductors. She said Jose was the target and that she was too scared to tell police what really happened.
While detectives had their doubts about Gutierrez’ story, a search team was sent to the area where she claimed she and Jose had been taken.
“They went out with a ton of detectives and the dogs and they didn’t discover anything,” Chicago police detective Marc Leavitt told “Snapped.”
In October 2013, Gutierrez again contacted Chicago PD. “She said that she was lying. She said she couldn’t sleep at night. She wanted to tell the truth,” Andras said.
According to Gutierrez, she had been seeing Jose romantically while at the same time having a relationship with Milton Miranda. When Miranda visited her in Chicago, he found out about Jose and became jealous and angry.
“Milton says, ‘You’re texting him. That’s disrespectful,’ and she’s like, ‘I love you. I don’t care for him.’ And she says, ‘I’ll prove it to you. I’ll call him over here and when he gets here, you can beat him up,’” Matias explained.
On the night of May 21, Gutierrez told her family to leave the home and invited Jose over. When he arrived, she led him into her bedroom. Miranda was hiding in the closet.
After Gutierrez performed a brief striptease for Jose, Miranda jumped out and attacked him. Miranda beat him with a metal pipe and slit his throat, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“She tells the police that wasn’t what she understood Milton was going to do,” Bagby told producers. “She’s putting all of the blame and all of the responsibility and everything on to Milton.”
Detectives doubted her version of events. “Daisy says that she thought that he was just going to beat him up. I don’t believe that. You know, you don’t have a knife and a pipe ready just to beat somebody up,” Andras said.
Under further questioning, Gutierrez eventually admitted she was complicit in Jose’s murder.
“She said, ‘OK, yes, I knew that the only way to get him out of my life is to get rid of him so I knew that he was going to pop out of the closet and stab him,’” Matias told producers.
After the murder, Gutierrez called her father, Salvador Gutierrez, and told him that she had “fixed the problem,” according to the Chicago Tribune. When he arrived home, he helped Miranda dismember the body and bury it in the Gutierrez’ backyard.
Salvador Gutierrez bought Daisy and Miranda bus tickets to New Jersey. Miranda later broke up with Daisy, at which point she moved back to Chicago with the intention of turning him in to the police.
In October 2013, Daisy Gutierrez, 19, was charged with first-degree murder, while her father Salvador Gutierrez, 56, was charged with concealing a homicidal death, reported Chicago CBS-affiliate WBBM-TV.
Investigators found black garbage bags containing Jose’s dismembered remains in the Gutierrez’ backyard. Neighbors reported a foul smell in the vicinity after digging began, according to WLS-TV.
Police caught up with Milton Miranda-Portillo in Morristown, New Jersey, where he was already facing charges of making terroristic threats, aggravated assault, and forgery, according to the website NJ.com. He was extradited to Chicago to face first-degree murder charges.
Daisy Gutierrez pleaded guilty to dismembering a body in April 2016 and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. She was released in June 2021, after serving eight years.
As part of her plea deal, Gutierrez agreed to testify against Miranda. When Miranda found out Gutierrez had cut a deal, he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison and will first be eligible for parole in 2043, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Rather than take a plea, Salvador Gutierrez took his case to trial and was found guilty of dismembering a human body and concealment of homicidal death and sentenced to 20 years in prison, according to court documents. After serving eight years in prison, he was released in February 2021.
For more on this case and others like it, watch “Snapped,” airing Sundays at 6/5c on Archiweekend, or stream episodes here.