Rita Gutierrez-Garcia, 34, was studying and raising her three sons when she mysteriously disappeared one night four years ago – her remains have now been found in Colorado, USA
Image: Longmont Fire, Police and Community Health and Resilience)
The mysterious murder of a mother who disappeared four years ago is set to be solved after her brave last words to her killer were revealed.
Rita Gutierrez-Garcia, 34, was celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with friends when she disappeared from an alley behind a bar on March 18, 2018 and was never seen again.
On Thursday, the Boulder County Attorney’s Office released a statement confirming her body had been found on the decomposed remains in Weld County, Colorado, following preliminary DNA testing.
“This is no longer a missing persons inquiry,” Gutierrez-Garcia’s sister said in a press release.
Juan Figueroa Jr., 33, is now set to plead guilty to first-degree murder and kidnapping of the mother of three after being identified as a potential suspect early in the case.
Longmont Fire, Police and Community Health and Resilience)
According to court documents, Gutierrez-Garcia and Figueroa had “briefly interacted” at a bar shortly before their disappearance.
After his arrest, Figueroa reportedly later confessed to his cellmate that he kidnapped and killed the victim by beating and strangling her after she called him a “maniac,” the documents say.
Details of Gutierrez-Garcia’s horrific fight for her life also surfaced – when it was revealed the victim had made a frantic last-minute call to police the night she went missing.
The line went dead before police could answer and two attempts to return Gutierrez-Garcia’s call were unsuccessful as her phone reportedly went offline shortly afterwards.
During that time, mobile data tracked her phone to the same location where the suspect’s car was driving between 2:30 a.m. and 3:10 a.m. at the time of her disappearance, according to court records.
Figueroa also reportedly confessed to burning his clothes and dumping the victim’s body “in an area off-limits to the public” to trick detectives.
In June 2021, a jury indicted the suspect in the Gutierrez-Garcia murder and kidnapping on a count of “murdering no man.”
His plea and sentencing are now scheduled for June 3 after her remains were discovered, prosecutors say.
They add that there will be no trial.
Gutierrez-Garcia was a paralegal at the time of her death and had three sons.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/mums-mysterious-murder-solved-after-27035157 Mum's mysterious murder is "solved" after the brave final word to the killer is exposed