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Author Topic: Albuquerque's Murder Mystery...body count 13 / New Mexico (ALL 13 ID'd)  (Read 136806 times)
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Mtnmom
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« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2009, 08:56:41 PM »

Missing person April Pitzer ruled out so far.



Bones bring queries on
lost loved ones
Californian's daughter missing five
years

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Word of the women's bones being unearthed on the west mesa reached Gloria Denton in California leading her back to Albuquerque and another dose of frustration in the search for her missing daughter.

“Everywhere there is a Jane Doe that Jane Doe could be my April,” said Denton told KRQE News 13.

Pitzer disappeared from California in 2004. According to the family a few months later someone used her name to set up a cell phone account in Albuquerque.

What is not known is whether that Pitzer herself or someone using her identity for their own benefit.

When Denton heard a dozen sets of skeletal remains, possibly all women, had been discovered on Albuquerque's west mesa she contacted the coroner handling Pitzer's. He immediately e-mailed the Office of Medical Investigator in Albuquerque about Pitzer and another missing woman named Catherine.

“I simply bundled a package together that has their identifier records and e-mailed that to the medical examiner section,” David Van Norman, an investigator with the San Bernardino County's coroner department, said.

Van Norman sent the dental X-rays of the women, and in less than a day, the Albuquerque OMI responded that the remains collected so far do not include either woman.

News 13 asked the office of OMI to talk about the findings in more detail on Friday. Medical investigator Peter Nine declined but said he will discuss it further with Denton.

Denton said she does not believe that her daughter is still alive so her search is for answers. As long as the search for bones continues on the mesa she will keep hoping for new of her daughter.

Meanwhile not all the remains recovered from the west mesa are complete. Investigators have said the dig could go on for months

http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/crime_krqe_albuquerque_bones_bring_queries_on_lost_loved_ones_200903161745
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« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2009, 11:17:44 PM »

PI offers free help in bones mystery

Updated: Monday, 16 Mar 2009, 6:46 PM MDT


ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Albuquerque Police and the Office of the Medical Investigator are still working to identify eight of the 13 skeletons found buried on Albuquerque's West Mesa.

Now, a private investigator is offering free help to people who wonder if a missing member of their family might be one of the unknown eight.

The investigator said families can get answers by giving police what they need to make a positive identification, and he's going to help them do that.

"We saw all the bodies found, we have several missing persons cases of young ladies that age and our clients were calling us, saying could our loved ones be there," Dr. George Walker said.

Walker put an ad in the paper last week, offering help for free to any family who believes their missing friend or relative could be one of the bodies found in the mesa.

He's gotten 10 calls so far, five of which he believes have potential ties to the West Mesa crime scene.

"A lot of parents have DNA samples in their homes that they're not aware of," Walker said. "Old brushes belong to loved one though of no use, sitting in your house, but if they have hair follicles you can identify people through DNA."

Walker wants to help families gather that DNA to hand over to police. He said he'll also work to track down dental records—even if that means tracking a dentist who has moved out of state.

Walker said he felt he had to do something.

"You miss 100 percent of chances you don't take, so we want to be able to take that shot," he said.

Another good thing for concerned families is to gather photographs of the missing person wearing their favorite jewelry. Sometimes jewelry is found with the remains.

Walker said he will help as many families as he can.

http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/crime_krqe_albuquerque_PI_offers_help_in_west_mesa_mystery_200903161800
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« Reply #42 on: March 23, 2009, 01:47:34 PM »

Mom Fears Daughter May Be West Mesa Victim
Medical Investigators Try To Identify Remains

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Medical investigators want to know more about Anna Vigil, a woman who went missing years ago.

"There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of Anna and of course I pray for Anna," said Stacy Love Vigil.

Stacy Love Vigil is Anna Vigil's mother. She spoke to KOAT by phone from her home in Arkansas.
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« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2009, 01:49:34 PM »

Mom Fears Daughter May Be West Mesa Victim
Medical Investigators Try To Identify Remains

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Medical investigators want to know more about Anna Vigil, a woman who went missing years ago.

"There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of Anna and of course I pray for Anna," said Stacy Love Vigil.

Stacy Love Vigil is Anna Vigil's mother. She spoke to KOAT by phone from her home in Arkansas.

accidently hit post to soon

"She has a young son who will be seven next week and he hasn't seen his mommy in four years," Vigil said.

Anna's been missing since January 2005.

"What's going on right now it is almost like a nightmare coming true," Vigil said.

Vigil referred to the west mesa where remains of 13 bodies have been discovered since February. She said its let her wondering.

"Anna had admitted to me, confided in me that she was having some problems with heroin," Vigil said.

Her daughter's lifestyle was a dangerous one and police said that's something identified victims have had in common.

"It's hard and I am trying so hard and I am trying so hard to help the police with x-rays and dental records," Vigil said.

She said she's doing everything all she can to finally get some answers.

"I love her unconditionally and I just want to know where she is," Vigil said.

Anna's family said it hasn't been able to locate her dental records. Her name is on a short list investigators sent out to dentist, asking them to double check their files.

The identified victims include Victoria Chavez, Michelle Valdez -- who was pregnant -- Cinnamon Elks and Juliean Nieto.

Eight sets of remains still need to be identified.

http://www.koat.com/westmesa/18988138/detail.html
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« Reply #44 on: March 23, 2009, 02:06:40 PM »

Memorial held for West
Mesa victims

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The mystery on Albuquerque's West Mesa is uniting the families of missing women.

Some of the families were among the 13 people who were found buried in shallow graves. All of the families looked to the heavens Saturday, for hope.

It started with prayers.

"Victoria Chavez Father God, Cinnamon Elks Lord, Julie Nieto Father God, we lift them to you Father God. We thank you for the girls you that they found Lord God. We lift up these balloons to their memory Father God," Rose Ramirez from Christ is our Lord Church said.

Then, thousands of balloons were sent flying into the skies over Albuquerque.

Each a symbol of the four victim's who have been identified on the West Mesa near 118th street and Dennis Chavez and those missing women who are still nowhere to be found.

"We just want to let them not be forgotten all the women that are missing. Everyday it's that thought of where she is. Is she alright, is she alive," Liz Perez said.

She organized the tribute for her daughter, Darlene Trujillo, who went missing in 2001.

Now the families of missing women are uniting together, asking God for help.

Ambrose Saiz and Mary Saiz's daughter Victoria Chavez was the first victim to be identified on the West Mesa.

"We know she was a good girl, she was our daughter, she was a good mother you know anything a parent would want from a daughter, that's what we got from her," Saiz said.

Mary Saiz said she is praying for justice.

"But the Lord does say is vengeance is mine, and I pray that whoever did this to them gets what they deserve," she said.

Three more women followed Gina Michelle Valdez, Cinnamon Elks, and Julie Nieto.

"We share the same emotion and the same heartache, and we did love our children as much as any other parent would have," Nieto's mother Eleanor Griego said.

http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/crime_albuquerque_west_mesa_mystery_families_missing_unite_balloon_tribute_200903211830
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« Reply #45 on: March 28, 2009, 01:11:05 PM »

Mesa graves search nears end

Updated: Friday, 27 Mar 2009, 8:34 PM MDT
 
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The search for more bodies from makeshift graves on the southwest mesa is almost over, Albuquerque's police chief said Friday.

Chief Ray Schultz said he expects the search to end next week.

Starting early in February investigators recovered 13 sets of skeletal remains from a once-remote section of mesa now being developed as a residential subdivision.

Four have been identified as Cinnamon Elks, Julie Nieto, Victoria Chavez and Michelle Valdez and her unborn child. All four women disappeared in Albuquerque in 2004.

They are among a list of 16 women reported missing between 2001 and 2006.

It's been weeks since investigators have made any new discoveries, and they believe they've found all the evidence they can.

Police have ventured few theories about what happened to the women and who might be responsible.  However they note the women identified so far all had troubled pasts that included drugs and prostitution.

http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/crime_krqe_albuquerque_mesa_graves_search_nears_end_200903272029
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« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2009, 03:23:05 PM »

Two More West Mesa Remains Identified

UPDATED: 12:28 pm MDT April 3, 2009

Two more sets of remains from the West Mesa dig site have been identified, police said Friday.

Albuquerque police have discovered 12 sets of human remains on the west mesa in the past month. The first set of remains was discovered by two hikers in early February. Police have identified six women and an unborn child from the remains.

Albuquerque police said the remains are that of Veronica Romero, date of birth July 19 1976, and Monica Candelaria, date of birth June 20, 1981 .

Albuquerque police chief Ray Schultz said the Office of Medical Investigator identified the remains late Thursday.

Schultz also said OMI has reduced the number of remains from 13 to 12. He said weather and other conditions caused the confusion.

Schultz said the investigation is far from over, and will continue as long as it takes. He said so far, no suspects have been identified.

Log onto koat.com for updates and stay with Action 7 News for further details.
http://www.koat.com/news/19087802/detail.html
« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 03:48:08 PM by Nut44x4 » Logged

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« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2009, 03:54:24 PM »

These some of the known missing women, let their names not be forgotten.
Darlene Trujillo missing since 2001
Sonia Lente missing since 2002/BODY FOUND 2004 on Isleta Pueblo ID'd 2009

Monica Candalaria missing since 2003/BODY FOUND

Jamie Barela missing since 2004
Cinnamon Elks missing since 2004 /BODY FOUND

Veronica Romero missing since 2004/BODY FOUND

Victoria Chavez missing since 2004 / BODY FOUND

Michelle Gina Valdez missing since 2004 / BODY FOUND w/Fetus

Virginia Cloven missing since 2004
Doreen Marquez missing since 2004 / BODY FOUND

Julie Nieto missing since 2004 / BODY FOUND

Evelyn Salazar missing since 2004
Anselma Guerra missing since 2004 / BODY FOUND but not on Mesa
http://tinyurl.com/ce8mv2

Anna Vigil missing since 2005
Felipa Gonzales missing since 2005
Nina Herron missing since 2005
Shawntell Waltes missing since 2006
Leah Peebles missing since 2006

http://www.topix.com/forum/source/kob-new-mexico/TV7FGN5QNJ4GK78A8
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« Last Edit: June 19, 2009, 06:23:26 PM by Nut44x4 » Logged

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« Reply #48 on: April 03, 2009, 10:14:41 PM »

Report hints at foul play in Mesa death

Updated: Friday, 03 Apr 2009, 5:55 PM MDT
Published : Friday, 03 Apr 2009, 5:10 PM MDT

    * Reporter: Kim Vallez
    * Web Producer: Devon Armijo

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A 2003 police report revealed that one of the West Mesa victims likely met foul play.

The Albuquerque Police Department announced Friday that Monica Candelaria had been identified as one of the women who's bones were found on Albuquerque's West Mesa.

A police report shows Candelaria's mother reported her daughter missing in May of 2003.

The report shows a log of interviews conducted by Bernalillo County Sheriff's investigators.

In one entry a deputy cites a conversation with Candelaria's mother:

"Mrs. Candelaria told me that she heard from a friend that a person known as 'Isaac' (Savadera) was talking at a local barbershop that he knew that 'Monica' was killed and where she was taken to in the 'mesa.'"

The report does not cite any interview with 'Isaac,' but it did cite an interview with a woman who said that, "everybody had heard the rumor that Ms. Candelaria was killed."

The report also goes on to state human remains were found in the area of Pajarito dam, and the bones were of a small framed female in her late teens or early 20s.

Investigators compared the dental records of Candelaria to the bones and determined they were not a match.

The report ends shortly after that.

Undersheriff Sal Baragiola said the case was classified as a cold case in 2004, after about a year of investigation, but said the sheriff's department did follow several leads that came in after that time.

The case has been handed over to the task force handling the investigation of the West Mesa bones.

http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/crime_krqe_albuquerque_2003_report_cites_possible_fould_play_200804031800
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« Reply #49 on: April 06, 2009, 10:45:50 AM »

Mesa victims' families urge wider search

Posted: 4/6/09
The flames of white wax candles flickered in the dark just 20 minutes from the site where at least a dozen people were buried in a mass grave.

About 100 people held a candlelight vigil at Robinson Park on Saturday to honor the women whose bodies were found on the West Mesa.

The search for bodies, clues and answers continues on the dusty mesa where so far 12 bodies - 11 women and an unborn child - have been found at a patch of land near 118th Street and Dennis Chavez Road S.W.

The Albuquerque Police Department has used dental and medical records to identify seven of the victims: Monica Candelaria, Veronica Romero, Victoria Chavez, Cinnamon Elks, Julie Nieto, and Michelle Valdez and her unborn child.

All of the women found were in their 20s.

Daniel Valdez, father of Michelle, said that he and other family members of the victims plan to band together and pick up the investigation and search for evidence wherever the APD decides to leave off.

"I don't want them to finish," Valdez said. "I want them to turn all of that area out until they find all of (the) 18, or as many females that have been reported missing."

APD spokeswoman Nadine Hamby said the department doesn't plan to wrap up the West Mesa investigation anytime soon.

There are 25 to 30 investigators at the site at all times looking for bones, Hamby said.

"There are just a ton of resources that are being utilized out there right now," she said. "Many of those bodies aren't intact. Just three days ago we found a toe bone, and that's the reason why we're not leaving that site. There are minor, little, tiny bone fragments, and we are still out there trying to recover those."

Lupe Lopez, a former deputy sheriff, said her sister, Beatrice Lopez Cubelos, went missing in 1989 after leaving a friend's apartment on Second Street. Cubelos said her sister could be buried out on the West Mesa. If her body is not recovered because it was buried away from the bones of the other bodies, then the APD will have conducted an incomplete search and investigation, Lopez said.

Valdez said he has the same concern for the other girls who were reported missing around 2004, the time period when most of the identified victims went missing.

Valdez said he has contacted other national organizations and news networks to bring more attention to the West Mesa investigation.

"I was able to contact 'America's Most Wanted,'" Valdez said. "They were at the house this week and out at the dig site, and I've been in communication with two or three more national programs, so I'm taking this bull by the horns and I'm not letting it loose until it's over."

Lopez said that she, Valdez, and other family members of the West Mesa victims are going to start soliciting the help of community volunteers and UNM students. Archaeology students, criminal law students, public relations students and anyone else who wants to help continue the investigation after APD has packed up its last shovel are welcome to join the movement, Lopez said.

Valdez said no stone should go unturned in the investigation and that APD should broaden the site to include the neighborhoods that sit on the precipice of the mass grave.

"A human being is a human being," Valdez said. "There's no subdivision in Albuquerque that's worth the life of a human being. All the houses out there - if they have to move them to dig underneath them, they should. That should be the priority - to locate, identify and find all of the women that went missing around that time period."

Hamby said family members should seek approval from property owners before spearheading their own investigation.

"Keep in mind that that is also private property," Hamby said. "KB Homes does own that property. It's not like once we vacate that, people are going to be allowed to be there. That's not going to happen."

Calls to KB Homes were not returned Sunday.

Lopez said that she plans to work within the frame of the state's laws. However, no amount of departmental red tape will prevent her from following up on the APD's investigation, she said.

"Nothing is impossible, and I intend to go forth with this because I am like this: If I start something, I end it. I finish it.… I don't get cold feet," she said.
http://www.dailylobo.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticlePrinterFriendly&uStory_id=e5c6634b-bf66-414e-88e2-eee3de8275d1
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« Reply #50 on: April 21, 2009, 04:36:34 PM »

Police Make ANOTHER ID From West Mesa Remains
UPDATED: 2:21 pm MDT April 21, 2009
Albuquerque police confirm Doreen Marquez as the seventh woman to be identified from the West Mesa remains case.
more details later....
http://www.koat.com/news/19242355/detail.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Albuquerque police ID 7th body

April 21, 2009 4:45 PM ET

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - A seventh woman has been identified as among the victims whose remains were found at a partially completed subdivision on Albuquerque's west side.

Police Chief Ray Schultz on Tuesday identified her as Doreen Marquez of Albuquerque, who was 27 when she was last seen in October 2003.


Schultz says she matched the profile of 6 other identified victims.

He says Marquez had arrests for possession of narcotics and was known by Albuquerque police as being a prostitute, although she had not been arrested for that crime.

The state Office of the Medical Investigator used dental records from the Metropolitan Detention Center to identify her.

A search over the past three months has turned up the remains of 11 adults and one fetus.
http://www.newswest9.com/Global/story.asp?S=10223215&nav=menu505_2
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« Reply #51 on: April 28, 2009, 03:20:38 PM »

Police in New Mexico stop digging at mass grave, saying they've recovered all evidence
7:55 PM EDT, April 24, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in New Mexico have ended a 12-week dig at one of the nation's largest crime scenes, where the bodies of 11 victims were unearthed at a construction site in the desert.

Albuquerque police Cmdr. Paul Feist said Friday that investigators have recovered all the evidence believed to be at the site.

Investigators have sifted through 40,000 cubic yards of dirt since early February. Seven of the 11 victims have been identified.

No arrests have been made.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-us-desert-bodies,0,2857669.story
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« Reply #52 on: May 02, 2009, 01:49:53 PM »

Funerals on hold as mesa victims ID'd

Families of some of the women found buried on the West Mesa got a better idea Friday of when they'll have their loved ones' bodies returned to them.

Family members say the bodies are being sent two at a time from the OMI in New Mexico to a Texas facility for further examination.

It's been a long and frustrating wait, say family members, as they try to make funeral plans.

Of the seven identified victims found buried on the mesa, Veronica Romero left behind the most children—five of them. Her body has been at the Office of the Medical Investigator since February.

Her cousin says it has been tough to plan a funeral without knowing when they'll have her remains.

"We are going to have her cremated, but we haven't decided the whole thing yet. It's awful, I never thought I'd plan her funeral,” Desiree Gonzales said.

Veronica's cousin says right now, two bodies are at the University of North Texas being analyzed. They've been there for a month and are about to be shipped back to Albuquerque. When the remains of the women return to Albuquerque, Garcia's remains and another woman's will be shipped to the university.

"They're going to do more DNA and forensics. I'm hoping to find out how she got killed,” Gonzales said.

Also on Friday, police confirmed their “ersons of interest list,” which includes inmates in New Mexico and Texas.

Veronica's cousin says police are planning on talking to two of Veronica's ex-boyfriends.

“Between me and my family, our closure won't close until we know for sure that whoever did this gets their closure,” Gonzales said.

Veronica's cousin is optimistic the family will receive the remains before July 19—what would be Veronica's 33rd birthday.
http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S910497.shtml?cat=504
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« Reply #53 on: May 02, 2009, 01:51:43 PM »

A comment at Topix that is well worth posting....

POSTED BY:
My two cents
Albuquerque, NM

This story is so sad to me. I feel sorry for these families. I hope people can look beyond the lifestyle that these women led in the last days of thier lives. It is just heart breaking. Truly there but by the grace of God go me or my family member..There is such a fine line that keeps us from crossing to the other side...I do hope they can figure out how they died and most important who did this terrible thing in order to provide some closure for these families. Get their bodies home so they can have their funerals and let these girls at last rest in peace.
http://www.topix.net/forum/source/kob-new-mexico/TK190HAH548QRH37N
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« Reply #54 on: May 15, 2009, 12:56:20 PM »

Identities of Bodies Found on Mesa Emerge, but Killer Remains Cloaked
Published: May 14, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE — Three months after the remains of 11 adults and a fetus were found buried on a dust-swept mesa here, the police say they are making progress in solving the killings. But relatives of the victims are skeptical.

Seven sets of remains have been identified, and the similarities are haunting. All were young women. All had drifted into prostitution or drugs. And all matched a police list of young women who had vanished off the streets of Albuquerque from 2001 to 2006.

Clues have been hard to come by, however, and digging at the 100-acre crime scene was suspended last month. On April 24, the police released photographs of a beige acrylic fingernail belonging to one of the victims, hoping someone would recognize the salon that produced it. But there have been no matches.

An “America’s Most Wanted” segment on the deaths, which was broadcast on April 25, generated dozens of tips, but most turned out to be psychic “premonitions” about the case, said Officer Nadine Hamby, a spokeswoman for the Albuquerque Police Department.

Investigators are also now looking into “persons of interest” in the case, both alive and dead, Officer Hamby said. That includes people incarcerated in New Mexico and Texas and those with a criminal history of soliciting prostitutes and drugs.

“Not only is the chief confident,” Officer Hamby said, “but the entire task force is confident that we’re going to find who’s responsible for these poor victims.”

Still, many families of the victims have grown uneasy with the handling of the case. They praise the resources law enforcement has devoted to the crime scene but insist it has come too late.

Monica Candelaria’s remains were among those discovered on the mesa. Her mother, Isabel Candelaria, said that shortly after her daughter disappeared in May 2003, she reported to a Bernalillo County sheriff’s detective that a man in her neighborhood named Isaac was overheard saying that Monica Candelaria had been killed and taken to the mesa.

Unconvinced that the police would follow up, Ms. Candelaria said her family spent nearly a month scouring the same land where her daughter’s body would be discovered years later.

A 2003 missing persons report from the Sheriff’s Department confirms Ms. Candelaria’s account. The report said that after Ms. Candelaria informed the department about Isaac, a detective had searched an area near the mesa; the report said that a human jawbone was found there but that it did not match Monica Candelaria’s. The report also shows the matter was turned over to the cold case unit, which followed leads.

“I knew my daughter was buried out there, I just didn’t know if they would ever find her remains,” Ms. Candelaria said. “Maybe some of the girls’ lives would have been saved if they had found my daughter’s body then.”

Like other victims’ family members, Desireé Gonzales, whose cousin Veronica Romero was also found on the mesa, told of filling out missing persons reports and blanketing the city with posters shortly after Ms. Romero went missing in 2004. Ms. Gonzales said she had lost hope the case would ever be cracked.

“They haven’t done nothing for all these years,” she said of the police.

At a meeting on April 30, families said the police told them not to speak with reporters or they would risk ruining the investigation. Many left the meeting feeling frightened and confused, said Dan Valdez, whose daughter Michelle was found on the mesa with her unborn fetus.

“They want people to forget about this,” Mr. Valdez said. “But I’m not going to let them, and neither is anybody else.”

Officer Hamby said the police simply requested that families keep important information to themselves for now.

Meanwhile, families have taken to holding public vigils and meetings. Last week, after being approached by a few victims’ families, Clear Channel Outdoor New Mexico began running images of the seven identified women, along with the number for a tip hot line, on 17 of its digital billboards here.

Lori Gallegos, whose friend Doreen Marquez was buried on the mesa, said the families remained fearful their loved ones would be forgotten.

“The police have done an outstanding job with the crime scene,” Ms. Gallegos said. “But right now, the families don’t know who to trust. They don’t know who to believe.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/us/15mesa.html?ref=global-home
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« Reply #55 on: June 04, 2009, 08:52:53 PM »

Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico) 
June 4, 2009 Thursday 
 
W. Mesa Victim May Not Be Local;
Slain Woman May Have Been a 'Circuit' Prostitute
 
Detectives believe one of the unidentified female victims found in a shallow grave on the West Mesa earlier this year was probably not from Albuquerque.

"She was not reported missing in Albuquerque," APD spokeswoman Nadine Hamby told the Journal on Wednesday. "We think she may have been a circuit girl: a woman who works in the prostitution trade along (Interstate 40) stopping in various cities."

The woman's physical description - black, in her mid-teens to early 20s and between 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall - does not match anyone on a list of missing women who struggled with substance abuse and prostitution that police began to compile more than five years ago.

The seven mesa victims who have been identified so far all were on the list, which contains about 10 names, and all were from or had close ties to Albuquerque.

In late April, police released a photograph of detailed artwork on an acrylic fingernail investigators found attached to the woman's skeleton near 118th and Dennis Chavez SW in February.

They had hoped a friend or family member would recognize the artwork, come forward and identify the woman.

"Unfortunately, that has not happened," Hamby said.

On Wednesday, the Office of the Medical Investigator gave detectives several other details about the woman.

Also attached to the skeleton - on its skull - were a number of "tight, curly hairs," Hamby said. Based on the hairs and the lengths of other bones, detectives were able to complete a physical description of her.

She was wearing a lightbrown hair weave at the time she was killed, Hamby said.

At one time or another, the woman's nose had been broken, and she had been stabbed or severely cut on her leg, Hamby said. Neither of those injuries is connected to the way the woman was killed, according to police.

The OMI has yet to determine cause or manner of death for any of the 11 women whose remains were discovered on the mesa.

Authorities do not have a DNA sample from any of the unidentified remains, Hamby said. That's because the University of North Texas' forensic experts are doing the DNA testing for the West Mesa case, and only the identified victims' remains have been sent to the school's lab in Denton, Texas, so far.

"The ID'd ones are the priority for now," she said, "so those remains can be processed and their families can get them back."

Authorities have not been able to figure out who the four unidentified women are through dental records, either, Hamby said.

Identified so far are: Victoria Chavez, Gina Michelle Valdez, Julie Nieto, Cinnamon Elks, Veronica Romero, Monica Candelaria and Doreen Marquez.

During the past several weeks, police have served two search warrants seeking evidence in the West Mesa case. Both warrants have been sealed by a judge, and police have declined to discuss details of what was found.

Detectives have been in Arizona, Texas and throughout New Mexico following leads the past month or so.

Albuquerque detectives have also spoken with authorities in Wisconsin about a possible connection between the West Mesa killings and a similar case there.

Milwaukee police say they've linked seven cases there to a possible serial killer who's suspected in a number of prostitute killings over more than two decades. Authorities there said Tuesday they had linked another dead prostitute to the suspected killer - whose identity is not known - using DNA evidence. The one victim not connected to prostitution was involved in drugs.

The homicides in Wisconsin occurred between 1986 and 2007 on the city's north side. Now, officers have submitted or resubmitted DNA samples from more than two dozen unsolved homicides to see if they are connected.

The West Mesa victims were likely killed and buried between 2003 and 2005, police say.

Police Chief Ray Schultz said detectives are beginning to zero in on a list of fewer than 10 potential suspects in the case, although the word "suspect" remains somewhat inaccurate because OMI is still awaiting peer review to fully determine the cause and manner of the women's deaths. 
http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=100020825&docId=l:983902780&start=2
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« Reply #56 on: June 08, 2009, 03:29:32 PM »

It's time to go home Gina...time to go home

West Mesa victim's remains heading home
Updated: Sunday, 07 Jun 2009, 5:49 PM MDT

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The Office of the Medical Investigator will release the remains of at least one of the women found buried on Albuquerque's West Mesa.

The family of Gina Michelle Valdez said OMI told them that it will release her remains.
Valdez was the victim who was pregnant at time of her death.

After four years of wondering, her father Dan Valdez was notified that his daughter was one of the 11 bodies found buried on the West Mesa earlier this year.

The call came three weeks after police unearthed the first set of bones.

"Yes I was hoping she was alive until proven otherwise I had faith in god he was going to keep her safe and bring her home one day well he's brought her home," Valdez said.

The Valdez family is planning funeral services for Michelle later this week.

OMI hasn't said if they will release the remains of the other six identified women who were found on the West Mesa.

http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/crime_krqe_albuquerque_west_mesa_victims_remains_heading_home_200906071741
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 03:33:04 PM by Nut44x4 » Logged

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« Reply #57 on: June 11, 2009, 09:10:24 PM »

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_DESERT_BODIES?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=US
Jun 11, 8:10 PM EDT

Autopsies: 2 found in mass NM grave were murdered

Advertisement


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Authorities have released the first two autopsies of the 11 people found in a mass grave in the desert west of Albuquerque.

They confirm that 31-year-old Cinnamon Elks and 22-year-old Michelle Valdez were victims of homicide.

The women's remains, along with those of Valdez's fetus and nine other adults, were found in February at a construction site that was being leveled in preparation for a subdivision. Four of the victims have yet to be identified.

The two autopsies released Thursday by the state Office of the Medical Investigator say Elks and Valdez were killed by "undetermined homicidal violence."

Police are looking for similar crimes elsewhere that may help them solve the case.
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« Reply #58 on: June 13, 2009, 04:45:28 PM »

My goodness, if reading this doesn't make a person take stock in what really matters in our lives, nothing will.  My heart is aching for these families . . . my prayers remain steadfast for all of them to have the "peace that passes all understanding."
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« Reply #59 on: June 14, 2009, 08:14:25 PM »

Police chief talks of tough spring in Albuquerque

Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz remembers the moment at a news conference when his voice choked up and his eyes filled with tears.

In a subdued tone, he told the nation last month that a mother had suffocated her 3-year-old son and buried him in a city playground. Schultz then noticed his detectives, watching him from behind the row of television cameras.

"One of the toughest things for me," he recalled, "was looking back at the news conference, at the back of the room, and seeing my detectives all with watered-up eyes."

It's been a hard year for Albuquerque.

Two crime stories - Ty Toribio's death allegedly at the hands of his mother, Tiffany, and the discovery in February of 11 bodies and a fetus buried in a subdivision site on a desert mesa - have repeatedly thrust New Mexico's largest city into the national spotlight this year.

The 27-year Albuquerque police veteran said "a feeling of sadness" has settled over the fast-growing city of nearly 500,000 people.

After another tragic incident - the drowning death of a teenage boy in the Rio Grande in May - Schultz said he was stopped by countless people who wanted to talk about the fragility of life, and how quickly a tragedy can take over.

"It has been a tough spring on everybody," he said.

Candlelight vigils have been held for the women found in the desert, and families who are still waiting to see if their daughters or mothers are among the victims joined them. Mourners piled toys, candles and flowers at a makeshift memorial near the play structure where Ty Toribio's body was found.

Mindful of the boy's family, Schultz sat alone in his office before the news conference. He wrote down key phrases he'd use, and wondered about how the family would remember his words.

"If I was the family, what would I want to hear?" Schultz said he asked himself. "Don't go into the gory details, but at the same time, what do I need to tell the community so the community can kind of rest easy?"

Schultz has dealt with big crime news before. Weeks after he came out of retirement in Scottsdale, Ariz., to become Albuquerque's chief, the so-called Runaway Bride - Jennifer Wilbanks - fled to the city just before her wedding.

Schultz said he received 1,200 e-mails from people wanting to praise and criticize him for how he treated Wilbanks, who pleaded no contest to telling authorities a phony story and served two years' probation.

The e-mails he's received about the remains uncovered in February by a hiker at a 92-acre site that had been bulldozed for a residential subdivision are more somber. Some are from as far away as France, and many are from parents desperately searching for their missing children. Schultz said he answers them himself.

Four sets of remains are unidentified, but the other seven belonged to women reported missing between 2001 and 2006. The women had a history of prostitution and many struggled with drug addiction before they disappeared in 2003-2004, police say.

Law enforcement agencies are paying attention to how the department, which has created a multiagency task force, investigates the case, Schultz said. He hopes that out of the tragedy can come lessons for other law enforcement agencies.

So far, police say they have found no links with crimes elsewhere and the suspect list continues to fluctuate as they follow up on tips.

Schultz said one of the main questions is why the crimes came to a halt several years ago.

"These all happened between 2000 and 2005 and they seem to have stopped in 2005. What happened? Is your offender somewhere else, doing this somewhere else now? Is he dead? Is he incarcerated? ... Did he get married and have kids and change his lifestyle?" he asked.

Schultz has had to balance getting information out nationally to try to catch a suspect - America's Most Wanted filmed a segment on the crime at the burial site, for example. But he doesn't want to paint a portrait of Albuquerque that's too bleak.

Violent crime, including murders and robberies, in the city dropped from 2007 to 2008, just as such crimes declined nationally, according to FBI statistics.

"You have to be careful because you don't want it to look like, 'Oh, my gosh, the sky is falling,'" he said.

http://www.bradenton.com/439/story/1508635.html
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Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware/Of giving your heart to a dog to tear  -- Rudyard Kipling

One who doesn't trust is never deceived...

'I remained too much inside my head and ended up losing my mind' -Edgar Allen Poe
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