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Police find remains of Rita Gutierrez-Garcia

The trial for her murder will take place on June 3.
Rita Gutierrez-Garcia had been out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with loved ones when she went missing on March 18, 2018. She has not been seen since. 

After four years of searching, the remains of Rita Guiterrez-Garcia have been found

Guiterrez-Garcia was last seen on March 18, 2018 at 3’s Bar in Longmont. She had been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with friends and family. She had left the bar around 2:30 a.m. and Juan Figueroa Jr. was identified as an early suspect. 

Figueroa was later arrested and found guilty of murder in the “no-body homicide” case. He is currently serving a 93-years-to-life sentence for the attempted murder and sexual assault of another Longmont woman.

The trial moved forward despite the missing remains of Guiterrez-Garcia. However, her family — since the beginning of the prosecution — stated their top priority was the return of Guiterrez-Garcia’s body, a news release from the DA’s Office states.

Working with the defense attorneys, the prosecution was able to notify the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office and Longmont Public Safety of the exact location of Guiterrez-Garcia’s remains. 

On April 28, the agencies searched the described area in Weld County, east of Longmont, where they found human remains. DNA samples confirmed the remains belong to Guiterrez-Garcia. 

Guiterrez-Garcia’s family was notified and her sister “stated with relief, ‘This is no longer a missing person investigation,’” according to the news release.

Figuroa will return to court on June 3 for a dispositional hearing for both a guilty plea and sentencing for Guiterrez-Garcia’s murder. The case is no longer scheduled for trial, according to the news release.

Details of the case are limited until after the trial at which time the Boulder County DA’s Office will be able to answer additional questions.


Macie May

About the Author: Macie May

Macie May has built her career in community journalism serving local Colorado communities since 2017.
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