Roberta Rodriguez’s family finally has some answers, after crews searched for the missing 37-year-old for 10 days in the Rio Grande in southwestern Colorado.
“After a few days it turned from a search and rescue, to a search for the body,” said Bob Rodriguez, Roberta’s father.
On June 15, Roberta and her fiance were driving back to Durango when they stopped by the river to see how full it was, according to Roberta’s mom.
“A lot of it was anger. Like what were you doing there? Why was she on the rock?” said Josie Rodriguez, Roberta’s mom.
Josie said what they understand from officials is that her daughter and her fiance were sitting on a boulder next to the strong waters. She said Roberta’s fiance turned to get off the rock, and that’s when Roberta stood up, turned, and then fell in the water.
“Don’t go near that raging river because you don’t know if you’ll come back,” Josie said. “You don’t know if they’re going to find you.”
She said Roberta’s fiance tried to help her, but with the water being so strong, he did everything he could.
“They pulled her body out of the water and about 1,000 butterflies came out of the bush,” Josie said. “It was tough but this was a sign that she’d been released.”
Crews spent 10 days searching for her body. They eventually found it 100 yards away from where she fell in. Someone helping with the search saw her arm coming out of the water.
“I wanted to hold her,” Josie said. “She was our baby girl. She was our baby girl and now she’s in the hands of our Lord, and I believe that with all my heart.”
The family is hosting a community service to honor Roberta’s life. They welcome anyone to come. It’s July 6 at the Springs First Church. They have also started a GoFundMe to help with funeral costs.