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What Happened To Rita Gutierrez-Garcia? The Mysterious Disappearance Of Rita Gutierrez-Garcia



Rita Gutierrez Garcia, a 34-year-old woman from Longmont, Colorado, went missing on March 18, 2018. She, along with her cousins and friends, was celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at 3’s Bar in downtown Longmont where she was seen alive for the last time at around 2.30 am.

Hours later, she went missing, and her family started to search for their loved one. 

What happened to Rita Gutierrez Garcia? Why was she murdered, and who killed her? What was the intention behind her insane murder? Let’s find out. Here is a detailed timeline of Rita Gutierrez Garcia’s disappearance and murder.

Who Is Rita Gutierrez Garcia?

Rita Gutierrez-Garcia is a young woman from Longmont, Colorado, in her early thirties and a single mom of three sons. She was pursuing a paralegal degree at the time of her sudden disappearance and was a loving daughter, sister, and mother, according to her loved ones. 

What Happened To Rita Gutierrez-Garcia

The young mother was born on April 7, 1983, and was extremely close to her family. Being a single mother, she lived for her three sons, and her whole life revolved around them to ensure them a happy and safe future. But everything just turned over after she went missing. 

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As per the reports, it was registered that she vanished mysteriously from an alley behind the bar on March 18, 2018, and never returned. Initially, the authorities filed the case as a missing case, but as she was nowhere to be found, things went out of hand. 

What Happened To Rita Gutierrez-Garcia? Synopsis Of The Strange Events

As mentioned above, she went missing after going out with her friends on March 18, 2018, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with friends and family.

From the statements given by her friends, she was seen alive for the last time at the nearby parking lot of 3’s Bar at 333 Main Street. She seemed to talk to some people around 2.30 am and was never seen alive. The family went on investigating her missing hoping she might return back to her sons someday. 

But things were not the same as her family and friends believed to have happened to their dear one. And when they understood this, they reported her disappearance, and a massive investigation nationwide started for Rita Gutierrez-Garcia.

As years passed, the authorities couldn’t get any hint about Rita Gutierrez-Garcia’s existence. Slowly, the family started losing hope in her return. During this period, police arrested Juan Jose Figueroa Jr., a possible suspect who interacted with Rita Gutierrez-Garcia before disappearing from the bar. They had doubts about him, and with further investigation, they learned that he had some connection with her mysterious missing case. 

Rita Gutierrez-Garcia Murder: Juan Jose Figueroa Jr., Pleaded Guilty

While going through the surveillance tapes of the date she went missing, the authorities caught Juan’s truck traveling in the exact same direction as the victim’s phone traced. And when they searched for him, he had already fled to Texas two days after the incident. A week later, when he returned to the U.S., he was caught by the police. 

Juan was already filed an arrest warrant for a sexual assault and strangulation case from 2017. Even though he got caught in this case, they had doubts about him in the missing case. He was sentenced to 93 years in prison in May 2019 after he was pronounced guilty of the charges. 

Rita Gutierrez-Garcia Murder Juan Jose Figueroa Jr.

While serving in prison during his life sentence, he spoke about Rita Gutierrez-Garcia’s case to his cellmate. The cellmate came forward to declare that Juan confessed the murder to him and that he was the one who murdered Rita Gutierrez-Garcia.

According to the statement revealed by the cellmate, Juan kidnapped Rita Gutierrez-Garcia and knocked her down by punching her. He stated that Juan choked her to death from anger as she allegedly called him “weirdo.” After murdering her, he buried her body in some place inaccessible to the public. 

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Juan was charged with a count each of first-degree murder after deliberation, felony murder, and second-degree kidnapping of the 34-year-old single mother in June 2021. In May 2022, he pleaded guilty to Rita Gutierrez-Garcia’s murder after revealing where he buried Rita’s body. 

The Boulder District Attorney’s Office and Longmont Department of Public Safety announced that Rita’s body remains were recovered and confirmed. In June 2022, the court charged Juan with second-degree murder and kidnapping, and along with his previous 93-year prison sentence, he was charged with a prison sentence of 48 years for murder and 12 years for kidnapping.

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