Zita Cecilia Gutierrez

Gutierrez, circa 1980

  • Missing Since 08/23/1980
  • Missing From Bethesda, Maryland
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race Hispanic
  • Date of Birth 10/23/1956 (67)
  • Age 23 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'0 - 5'2, 110 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A silver-colored watch with a silver metal band, and a gold ring with a green marquise-cut stone.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) 1971 Dodge Challenger (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Hispanic female. Black hair, brown eyes. Gutierrez has a slight gap between her two upper front teeth. She goes by her middle name, Cecilia. She was born in Ecuador.

Details of Disappearance

Gutierrez was last seen at the Kenwood Country Club in the vicinity of the 5600 block of River Road in Rockville, Maryland. She had been working as a cocktail waitress there for about a week. She was supposed to pick up a friend at a bus stop at 9:30 p.m. and then go to meet her fiance and other friends at a nightclub.

Authorities believe there was a communications error and Gutierrez's friend was waiting at a different bus stop than Gutierrez thought. She was last seen shortly after she clocked out of work.

Her car was witnessed leaving the club parking lot at 9:25 p.m., but it hasn't been confirmed that she was driving it. She has never been heard from again. Her friends began searching for her when she failed to meet them as planned; they called the police at 2:00 a.m. on August 24.

Gutierrez's car, a 1971 Dodge Challenger, was found abandoned the day after her disappearance in a parking lot across the street from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, where she held a second job. The location is adjacent to the bus stop where investigators believe Gutierrez thought she would meet her friend; the friend was actually at another bus stop 500 yards down the road. There were no signs of a struggle at the scene.

At the time of her disappearance, Gutierrez was attending Montgomery College. She moved to the United States four or five years prior to her disappearance. Shortly before she vanished she became engaged to an Iranian student from Pennsylvania. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Montgomery County Police Department
  • 301-279-8000
  • 301-279-1602

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 1, 2012; clothing/jewelry description description added, details of disappearance updated.