A Wisconsin father is currently on trial for the brutal murder of his former partner’s new lover, who he allegedly stalked and beat to death with an object before disposing of his remains.
Zachariah Anderson, 42, is charged with killing Rosalio Gutierrez Jr at his apartment in Wood Creek back in May 2020.
Gutierrez, 40, had been dating Mr Anderson’s former girlfriend Sadie Beacham – with whom the accused killer shares three children.
Prosecutors allege that Mr Anderson was jealous of the new relationship and was stalking his love rival.
Meanwhile, Mr Anderson’s defence claims that the state failed to look into any other potential suspects.
The 42-year-old is now on trial in Kenosha County Circuit Court charged with first-degree intentional homicide, hiding a corpse and stalking. He faces life in prison.
Here’s what we know about the case:
Guttierez was last seen or heard from on 17 May 2020.
Two days later, a concerned Ms Beacham visited his home to check on him after she couldn’t get in touch with him.
When she arrived at his apartment, 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 believe he is dead based on the sheer volume of blood found inside his apartment.
On the evening of 17 May 2020, prosecutors allege that Mr Anderson went to Gutierrez’s apartment and brutally killed him with blunt force because he was jealous about his relationship with his former partner.
He then allegedly disposed of Gutierrez’s body.
The morning after Gutierrez was last seen alive, he was spotted on surveillance footage doing to a local WalMart where he bought garbage bags, latex gloves and bleach wipes.
He also bought cans of sardines.
Investigators closed in on Mr Anderson as Ms Beacham revealed that she believed her ex was tracking her movements.
On the day Guttierez’s death was discovered, officers found burn pits smoldering at both Mr Anderson’s home and his farm, with the remains of a bleach bottle and the accused killer’s clothing among the ashes.
Prosecutors said that Guttierez’s DNA was then found inside Mr Anderson’s work van and that 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, the criminal complaint states.
On 21 May 2020, Mr 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.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Jealousy and stalking
During his high-profile trial, jurors have heard that Mr Anderson was jealous of his former partner’s new relationship and was spying on the couple.
On 15 March, Mr Anderson’s 15-year-old daughter took the stand to testify that her father had asked her to spy on her mother and record “every single time my mother would get upset”.
She testified that he would “frequently” bring up Guttierez when she saw him.
Then, not long before Guttierez’s disappearance, Mr Anderson also allegedly took his daughter with him to spy on the couple.
On the night of 24 April – less than one month before the killing – she said that her father had driven them both to her mother’s home to watch Ms Beacham and Gutierrez through the window.
Anderson also went through Gutierrez’s truck and took photos of the vehicle’s licence plate and registration, she said.
Accused killer appears to signal to daughter to stop talking as she testifies against him
He then rang the doorbell of the home and fled, she said.
The teenager also testified that her father told her about his plans to follow his love rival – who he referred to using a racial slur.
“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.”
A dramatic moment unfolded inside the courtroom on 15 March when Mr Anderson appeared to send a signal warning his teenage daughter to stop talking as she testified against him.
Mr Anderson was seen putting his hand to his mouth and clamping his lips shut as he stared at his 15-year-old daughter on the witness stand in Kenosha County Circuit Court.
Prosecutors accused the defendant of signalling to his daughter as she testified.
Meanwhile, the defence also accused Ms Beacham of using sign language to communicate with her daughter on the stand.