Loved ones gather to celebrate birthday of missing Longmont woman

LONGMONT, Colo. -- Sunday would have been Rita Gutierrez-Garcia's 36th birthday.

The Longmont woman disappeared from a downtown parking lot over a year ago.

Gutierrez-Garcia was out with friends and family celebrating St. Patrick's Day in 2018 when she was last seen walking to a parking lot behind 3's bar.

Police say they no longer believe Rita Gutierrez-Garcia is alive but have still not recovered her body.

Sunday, friends and family gathered at Longmont's Thompson Park to unveil a special tribute to the mother of three.

The crowd huddled near a new bench that has been dedicated in Rita's honor.  The community raised roughly $2,500 for the bench.

"She’s an amazing person, she would have loved this. If she was here she would have loved this," said Diane Romero, Rita's mother.

Sunday, there was no talk of the crime, just a celebration for Rita's life and a balloon release.

"She liked to laugh and she liked having fun, and I just want them to remember the good things of her," said Romero.

Police are offering a $10,000 reward  for any information that leads to them to Gutierrez-Garcia's remains or to an arrest.

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