BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — From the beginning, Juan Figueroa had been the prime suspect in the disappearance of Rita Gutierrez Garcia of Longmont.

Figueroa eventually confessed to killing the mother of three in 2018, only after prosecutors say they had built a solid case against him.

Garcia’s family addressed him directly during sentencing in a Boulder courtroom Friday. Her sister, Jessica Romero, called him a weirdo and a monster.

“I know that Juan Figueroa has tried to hide from himself and his heinous actions, but today, his actions are exposed,” Romero said.

Garcia’s body had not been found until recently. Figueroa told investigators where it could be found, which was on a rural road in Weld County. That information began to surface as he was being investigated for trying to kill another woman.

Garcia’s mother fought back tears in court on Friday, saying Figueroa stole a beloved family member and mother of three children.

“I feel that we have received justice. For his own selfish reasons, he confessed,” said Garcia’s mother, Dianne Romero.

Judge rebukes Figueroa during statement

Figueroa — crying several times — addressed the court for eight minutes and at times seemed to ramble. He confessed to the crime but said a police officer who saw him drunk the night of the murder should have arrested him.

The judge gave him a stern rebuke, saying it wasn’t the officer’s fault, but his own, for killing a woman who had the bad luck of running across his path.

Figueroa was sentenced to 48 years for Garcia’s murder and another 12 for her kidnapping. That sentence is in addition to another 93-year sentence for trying to kill yet another woman.