CHICAGO — A burlesque performer who disappeared earlier this week has been found, police said.
Gutiérrez had been missing since Monday, when he was last seen at his apartment in Pilsen in the 1800 block of South Ashland Avenue about 8 p.m., according to police.
Junio was two blocks away from his friend's Logan Square apartment when he got the good news:
"My friend gave us a call. He said, 'You need to come. He's here,'" Junio said. "We ran over once we knew...It was such a flurry of emotions."
Junio said he's relieved.
"He is alive and well and back in our lives, and it’s the best I could have asked for, and I think a lot of people feel that away — that relief and joy," Junio said.
Friends are now giving Gutiérrez his space, and allowing him to decide when he wants to talk about his disappearance, Junio said.
A Facebook post from Gutiérrez the night he disappeared led Junio to believe his roommate may have hurt himself, and police said he might be depressed in a missing person's alert.
"He seems to be doing so much better," Junio said. "He's in a place now where he can recover in peace."
The days-long search had drawn a large and "wonderful" response. Junio said he received a lot of personal messages from people across the nation and even internationally whose lives were touched by Gutiérrez.
The burlesque performer was an ensemble member of troupe Vaudezilla and well-known in Lakeview, Junio said.
Junio camped out in the apartment of friends in Logan Square while his roommate was gone, spending time with a carousel of Gutiérrez's friends, "burlesque family," and members of the queer community.
He credited the outpouring of support for Gutiérrez's safe return.
"There was so much outpour, and it was really that love from all the different communites, all the different friends of his that brought him back," Junio said.