Who was Rita Gutierrez-Garcia? Wiki, Biography, Age, Family, Cause of Death, Facts

Rita Gutierrez-Garcia Wiki – Rita Gutierrez-Garcia Bio

In the early hours of March 18, 2018, right after St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, Rita Gutierrez-Garcia, a mother-of-three, went missing from downtown Longmont. The case, which initially started out as a disappearance, took a twisted turn when it was “no longer a missing person investigation” after shocking revelations about the horrific surfaced.

Over four years later, in 2022, Gutierrez-Garcia’s remains were discovered. Within months, a suspect named Juan Figueroa Jr., who was already serving a lengthy sentence in connection to an unrelated case, pleaded guilty to the missing mother’s murder, receiving another hefty prison term.

The upcoming two-hour-long NBC Dateline episode will have Keith Morrison report on Rita Gutierrez-Garcia’s disappearance and killing. The synopsis for the episode, titled Finding Rita, reads:

“When a Colorado mother vanishes without a trace, the detective investigating her disappearance discovers a connection to a previous assault.”

Rita Gutierrez-Garcia’s murder: Five quick facts to know about the disappearance and killing of the Longmont mother

Gutierrez-Garcia’s started out as a missing person’s investigation

Rita Gutierrez-Garcia was a 34-year-old mother of three young sons, studying for a paralegal degree when she went missing on March 18, 2018. She was reportedly celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the downtown Longmont bar and mysteriously disappeared in the early morning hours.

Authorities initially suspected a man named Juan Figueroa Jr., who was seen interacting with her at the bar that night. Reports state that sometime around 1.30 am, the two “briefly interacted.” Witnesses reported seeing close by to Gutierrez-Garcia outside the bar.

Investigators attempted to approach Juan Figueroa Jr., who skipped town soon after

On March 20, 2018, Juan Figueroa Jr. left Colorado after investigators attempted to speak to him about Rita Gutierrez-Garcia’s disappearance at his mother’s residence, where he was living at the time.

After a brief stay in Texas, he crossed into Mexico on March 22. However, five days later, he attempted to return to the country and was then arrested in connection with a separate s*xual assault case, for which he was ultimately convicted guilty.

Phone records suggested further implicated Figueroa in Rita Gutierrez-Garcia’s disappearance

According to Gutierrez-Garcia’s phone records, she was near the 600 block between Main and Coffman Street between 2.40 and 3.03 am. Figueroa’s vehicle was captured on camera traveling through the exact same location at 3.03 am.

Reports also state that the victim made two frantic 911 calls that night, which got disconnected before authorities could intervene. Moments later, her phone dropped off the network.

The accused allegedly confessed to strangling the Longmont mother-of-three

According to reports, Juan Figueroa Jr., who was arrested on March 27, 2018, in connection to an unrelated crime, admitted to killing Rita Gutierrez-Garcia and dumping her body.

He allegedly told one of his cellmates that he punched the woman after she called him a “weirdo” and knocked her out. Figueroa Jr. then strangled her to death, loaded her body into his truck, and dumped “in an area not accessible to the public” before burning his clothes.

Rita Gutierrez-Garcia’s remains were found after Juan Figueroa Jr. entered a plea deal

Figueroa reportedly made a plea deal and agreed to tape a confession to Gutierrez-Garcia’s murder while leading authorities to where he dumped her remains in March 2018.

The missing mother’s decomposed remains were found on April 28, 2022, in an isolated wooded area in Weld County. The accused then pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping charges.

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