Monday Marks Year Since Longmont’s Rita Gutierrez-Garcia Disappeared
Longmont police are offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to Rita Gutierrez-Garcia or the arrest of a suspect in her disappearance. Anyone with information is asked to call 303-774-3700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Rita Gutierrez-Garcia, a mother of three, went out to celebrate with friends and family on St. Patrick’s Day in 2018 in the handful of bars that dot Main Street in downtown Longmont.
Early the following morning, she was last seen walking to the parking lot behind 3′s Bar. Gutierrez-Garcia told her friends that she was getting a ride home sometime between 2:15 a.m. and 3:30 a.m.
Gutierrez-Garcia has not been seen since, and Monday marks the one year anniversary of her disappearance.
In May, Longmont police announced they believed Gutierrez-Garcia was no longer alive, and investigators had a “person of interest” in her disappearance.
In July, police publicly named Juan Jose Figueroa Jr., a 29-year-old Longmont man who had been in custody since April on unrelated charges, as a suspect in her disappearance. Police believe that Gutierrez-Garcia was last seen with Figueroa on March 18, but investigators and her family don’t believe the two had any kind of personal relationship.
Figueroa, who was arrested at the United States/Mexico border, was wanted in connection with the alleged violent sexual assault of another woman whom he met at a downtown Longmont bar. He is currently standing trial on the charges in Boulder District Court. The trial, which began last week, is expected to continue to the end of this week.
Gutierrez-Garcia’s body has not been found, but police have information that it might be located east of Rollins Pass, or in the area around Rabbit Mountain or Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Her friends and family have gone out searching the areas. Police have asked people who have time to search areas around Rabbit Mountain, the Peak to Peak Highway and Jamestown.
Police believe Figueroa was driving a 2005 white Chevrolet Silverado when he was looking to dump the body. This is the same truck that he was driving when he was arrested at the U.S./Mexico border.
Police submitted evidence to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and another laboratory, and based on the results, they were able to name Figueroa as a suspect. Denver’s 9News reported last week that police have physical evidence that Gutierrez-Garcia was in Figueroa’s truck at one point.
A Gofundme page started in January quickly raised the $2,000 that will be needed to install a memorial bench and plaque honoring Gutierrez-Garcia at a city park in Longmont.
According to the fundraising page, the plaque has been made and the memorial will be installed as soon as the weather becomes more mild.
John Bear: 303-473-1355, email@example.com or twitter.com/johnbearwithme