Everything You Need to Know About Rita Gutierrez Garcia’s Missing Case

Rita Gutierrez-Garcia, a mother from Longmont who vanished on the morning of March 18, 2018, has been the subject of extensive media coverage over the years. About a year after Juan Figueroa Jr. was charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in her case by a grand jury in June 2021, her remains were discovered last April.

Rita Gutierrez Garcia’s Missing Case-

According to the reports over the years, Gutierrez-Garcia was last seen close to a pub that is located in the Longmont, Colorado, region. A cellmate claims that Figueroa Jr., who was detained on March 27 in connection with a different sexual assault case, admitted to killing Rita, the missing mother. He also admitted to knocking her out with a blow and then strangling her which caused her death.

Remains of Colorado mom Rita Gutierrez-Garcia found more than 4 years after she went missing - CBS News
Image Source- CBS news.com

Figueroa allegedly admitted to killing Rita by strangling her and dumping her body on a cellmate after being apprehended. He stated that when she called him a “weirdo” he punched her and knocked her out. Then he killed her by strangling her. He reportedly confessed to throwing the victim’s body “in a location not accessible to the public” and burning her clothes.

This Friday, NBC’s Dateline will follow the story of Rita Gutierrez-Garcia from the time she vanished until the moment her remains were identified. Keith Morrison will provide commentary for the upcoming Finding Rita episode, which will air on the network at 9:00 p.m. ET. According to the episode’s synopsis, the documentary will cover:

“A Colorado mother goes missing without a trace, and the detective looking into it finds a link to an earlier assault.”

Know About Rita’s Missing Day Details-

On March 18 of the year 2018, the 34-year-old mother, Rita Gutierrez-Garcia, was celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with friends. This was the time when she suddenly vanished from an alley behind a bar located in downtown Longmont. Her disappearance sparked a lengthy missing person investigation. She had three small sons and was pursuing a paralegal degree at the time when this situation took place.

Her decaying remains were discovered in Weld County, Colorado, on April 28 in the year 2022, and were later recognized by DNA tests held in May. The victim’s sister stated in a press release that her case “is no longer a missing person inquiry” after the findings.

Rita Gutierrez-Garcia: Missing Longmont mother's remains found | 9news.com
Image source- 9News.com

According to Rita’s phone records, her phone was near the 600 block between Main and Coffman Streets between 2.40 and 3.03 am. Figueroa’s truck was captured on camera traveling through the same location at 3.03 am.

As it was learned that the victim had made two frantic 911 calls that night before going missing, details of Gutierrez’s horrifying struggle to survive emerged that provided more information about the previous evening. But, the calls went dead before officials could respond.

On March 20 of the year 2018, Figueroa Jr. left Colorado after officials attempted to talk to him at his mother’s house. During a brief stopover in Texas, he crossed into Mexico two days later. Later on March 27, he was detained as he tried to re-enter the country in connection with a separate sexual assault case, for which he was ultimately found guilty.

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