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Thread: New Mexico Articles

  1. #1

    New Mexico Articles

    Albuquerque Journal (NM)
    October 21, 2007
    Section: New Mexico
    Page: B1

    Office of Medical Investigator allows forensic artist to use skulls to re-create models of unidentified victims
    Author: T.J. WILHAM Journal Staff Writer

    Article Text:
    Putting a face on John Doe hasn't been easy for cold case detectives. For the past two years, the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department and Albuquerque police have been trying to convince the Office of the Medical Investigator to allow their forensic artist to use skulls to re-create models and images of unidentified bodies, some of which have been sitting nameless for as long as 30 years.
    Obtaining skulls, though, hasn't been easy.
    OMI says using clay to reconstruct a skull is destructive, and the office points out it has its own artists who can do the same work.
    But, last week, the agencies reached a compromise.
    OMI released to police and the sheriff's department the skull of a recent murder victim who was found on the mesa. The person's body was badly decomposed and had no identification.
    OMI is allowing the agencies to use the skull as long as they refrain from using clay. They can, however, put temporary markers on the skull, making it easier to draw a picture of the face.
    "This is fantastic. This is something I have always dreamed of doing," said forensic artist Mary Brazas. "It's awesome that all three agencies are working together. I am very exited to work with OMI now and in the future."
    OMI Chief Examiner Ross Zumwalt said the agencies were always allowed to use his department's skulls for their own forensic work. They just needed to contact him.
    But the new case marks the first time Brazas has been allowed to work hands-on with a skull.
    To obtain that skull, it took a letter from Sheriff Darren White and several meetings with Albuquerque police officials.
    "I believe that (Brazas' work) is an important and proven tool both for solving crimes and assisting families whose loved ones have gone missing," White wrote in a letter to Zumwalt back in February. "But in order to do so, we are requesting that she be allowed access to the skulls of these unidentified individuals.
    "For the sake of the nameless victims within our community, I respectfully request that you allow Deputy Brazas to continue this important work."
    A Journal investigation two years ago shed some light on the difficulty police and the sheriff's department have in identifying bodies.
    More than 300 bones of unidentified bodies were sitting in rose-shaped boxes at OMI, some of which dated to the 1970s. The investigation revealed that an inadequate computer database, a lack of cooperation among law enforcement agencies and the reluctance of families to provide DNA samples were making it difficult to identify the remains.
    Two years later, a solid statewide database is still lacking. But more families are providing DNA, and OMI and the sheriff's department and police are cooperating.
    "OMI has been instrumental in this investigation," said APD Detective Rich Lewis, who is the lead investigator on the case that Brazas is working on. "Through the cooperation of all agencies, we hope to identify the victim and find the killer."
    Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said police and the sheriff's department have had trouble obtaining skulls for decades.
    "It's always been a jurisdictional issue," he said. "(OMI is) concerned about the integrity of the remains as they should. It is their responsibility.
    "I am very pleased that we have all come together. All three agencies have a very good working relationship."
    Zumwalt said this week that his agency would continue to allow police and the sheriff's department to use skulls to create two-dimensional models.
    And Zumwalt said his agency has worked hard to identify John Does. OMI has provided about 180 DNA samples to the FBI, which started a database three years ago that compares the DNA of the unidentified bodies to possible relatives.
    About 80 possible relatives have given their DNA to FBI to use in its database.
    So far, there have been about a dozen matches.
    Zumwalt said he doesn't know how many John Does are still sitting in OMI that have not been identified.
    Last week was the first time Brazas was allowed to work hands-on with a skull.
    Over the years, her skills have been recognized by the FBI and utilized in other jurisdictions across the country.
    Previously, Brazas had to rely on photos to make twodimensional recreations. She has received more than 400 hours of forensic training to do facial reconstructions, ageprogressed sketches and drawings of suspects seen by witnesses.
    "This is fantastic," she said. "This is something I have always dreamed of doing. Families can be reassured that we are all working together to identify their loved ones."

    PAT VASQUEZ-CUNNINGHAM/JOURNAL The temporary markers on this skull are part of the process for reconstructing the face.
    Forensic Artist Mary Brazas is using this skull from the Office of the Medical Investigator to reconstruct the face of an unidentified body found recently in the mesa.

  2. #2

    Default Re: New Mexico Articles

    Albuquerque Journal (NM)
    January 23, 1995
    Edition: EDITION: STATE
    Page: B8



    Article Text:
    LAS CRUCES -- An unidentified male body was found by hikers 12 miles north of here Saturday afternoon, State Police reports said.
    The badly bruised body was found wearing khaki pants and brown socks in a rocky area near Geronimo's Cave, reports said. The man appeared to have suffered head injuries.
    The body was flown to the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque for an autopsy. Fingerprint tests were expected to be done on the body today, a spokesperson for the office said.

  3. #3

    Default Re: New Mexico Articles

    Santa Fe New Mexican, The (NM)
    April 30, 1995
    Section: MAIN
    Page: A1

    Index Terms:
    murder, Chimayo, crime


    Author: Sharyn Obsatz

    Article Text:
    Santa Fe County authorities are trying to identify a man whose body was found shortly after noon Saturday near Chimay�, lying face down with a bullet in his head.
    Sheriff Benjie Montano said deputies consider the death a homicide, the county's third this year and second in the past week. A Madrid man was found shot to death Monday.
    Investigators found no identification on the body discovered Saturday. However, he was wearing a leather belt bearing the name ``Martinez.'' He was described as 40 to 48 years old, with a thin mustache and long, curly hair in a ponytail. He was wearing black 501 Levis jeans, white L.A. Gear tennis shoes, and a green and blue shirt.
    A local boy found the body while taking a rest stop with his family at a pulloff on N.M. 503 near the Chimay� turn-off, Montano said. He said the family asked that they not be identified.
    Investigators estimated the man had been dead about eight hours before being found, Montano said.
    An initial investigation found no sign of a struggle at the scene and investigators don't know whether the man was killed elsewhere and the body transported to the site, the sheriff said.
    Montano is awaiting results of an autopsy planned for today.
    Authorities asked that anyone who might have information about the unidentified man call 986-2460.

  4. #4

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    Albuquerque Journal (NM)
    August 10, 1995
    Page: 4


    Author: Journal Staff Report

    Article Text:
    RIO RANCHO -- Police have uncovered the remains of an unidentified human just south of Idalia Road less than a mile west of NM 528.
    "On Monday, one of our residents looking for lot markers found some identification papers in the ground and contacted us," Ernie Wilson, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said Wednesday. "Near where the papers were found, was a tennis shoe. On Tuesday, we found the bones -- almost everything intact -- some cloth, and a belt buckle."
    There is no positive identification of the body or how long the victim has been dead, Wilson said.
    "Medical investigators have found trauma to the ribs of the body," Wilson said. "And the Office of the Medical Investigator is 85 percent sure it's an adult male."
    Police have not made a connection between the identification papers and the body, Wilson said.
    Police are still investigating, he said.

  5. #5

    Default Re: New Mexico Articles

    Santa Fe New Mexican, The (NM)
    May 17, 1996
    Page: A1

    Dead baby found in bag in Espanola pond

    Author: AARON BACA

    Article Text:
    Teens find newborn girl while fishing
    ESPA�OLA Two teen-age boys fishing from the bank of Riverside Lake in Espa�ola on Wednesday found the body of a newborn baby girl floating on the pond's surface in a knotted, plastic garbage bag.
    The unidentified girl, whom the state Office of the Medical Investigator says died of asphyxiation, was dumped in the pond with her umbilical cord still attached and with the mother's afterbirth.
    The death is being investigated as a homicide, said Espa�ola police Lt. Zac Pa�a.
    ``We don't have any leads at this point,'' Pa�a said. ``It's just really terrible. This girl never had a chance. It looks like someone didn't want this baby.''
    The black garbage bag was found about 6:30 p.m. floating near the bank of Riverside Lake, a pond just west of the Rio Grande and behind the Big Rock Shopping Center.
    ``When the kids saw the bag, they had no idea what they found,'' Pa�a said. ``They pulled it to the shore and poked a hole in it. When they saw flesh, they called us.''
    The body was taken by officials of the Office of the Medical Investigator to Albuquerque for an autopsy.
    Because the body was found on Santa Clara Pueblo land, officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigations are assisting with the investigation.
    Pa�a said police are asking people who might have information about the baby or its mother to call Sgt. Leo Montoya with the Espa�ola police at 753-5555.
    ``We need to find out who dropped that bag in the pond,'' Pa�a said. ``We're at a standstill (with the investigation) right now.''
    The site where the infant's body was found is near the spot where the burned body of Abigail Sanchez, an Espa�ola convenience store clerk, was found by passers-by in January 1993. Authorities said Sanchez was raped, beaten and burned in a car that was left about 1,000 feet in the bosque behind Big Rock Shopping Center. Several teen-age males were charged in the case.
    In March 1994 a woman living at a Santa Fe apartment complex discovered a newborn girl left in a trash bin near her apartment in a knotted garbage bag. The baby, who was only hours old when she was placed in the trash bin, was found kicking and breathing and since has been adopted.

  6. #6

    Default Re: New Mexico Articles

    Albuquerque Journal (NM)
    January 10, 1997
    Page: A1

    Index Terms:


    Author: Guillermo Contreras Journal Staff Writer

    Article Text:
    Twenty-four of Albuquerque's 1996 homicides remain unsolved.
    Although that might make it seem as if people are getting away with murder, Albuquerque police have been ahead of the national average since 1990 when it comes to clearing deadly cases.
    Last year, Albuquerque police solved 50 of a record 74 homicides. That means the department's clearance rate was 68 percent.
    The department considers a case solved when a suspect is arrested or when police don't make an arrest because they deem the killing justifiable or the suspect is dead.
    The national clearance rate for a city with a population of at least 250,000 was roughly 57 percent in 1995, according to the FBI's most recent statistics.
    The Albuquerque Police Department's homicide clearance rate is up from 1995, when officers solved 63 percent of the city's 60 homicides. And though that does not equal APD's 1990 clearance rate, when only four of the city's 38 homicides were unsolved, it is still above the national average.
    APD cleared more homicide cases than the national average for cities of 250,000 or more people each year from 1990-95.
    Compared with other cities in the region, APD falls somewhere in the middle. The clearance rates of the Tucson and Salt Lake City police were 55 percent in 1995, according to the FBI. But El Paso, at 94 percent, and Denver, at 78 percent, had higher clearance rates.
    APD Sgt. Francisco "Rocky" Nogales, head of APD's homicide unit, says he believes the department can -- and will -- solve more.
    "We're mopping up the cases from last year," Nogales said. "I anticipate a good 10 of them being definitely solvable with the information we have now. This stuff sometimes gets solved within the year, sometimes three years from now, sometimes tomorrow, it depends.
    "When we get a tip, we jump on it. We'll follow tips up until they get cold."
    The department has 11 homicide detectives, but two are helping with crime task forces. One, for instance, is aiding the federal Sureno 13 racketeering/murder investigation in addition to trying to solve her own cases.
    Nogales said one reason clearance rates may have gone down from 1990 is that homicides have gone up. Also, police are seeing more "stranger-on-stranger" attacks, which are usually more common in large cities.
    "Those are a little more difficult to solve," Nogales said.
    Huge cities have a tendency to fall below the national average when it comes to solving homicides.
    For example, New York City police solved 344 of the 1,177 homicides the city had in 1995 -- a clearance rate of roughly 29 percent. Miami cleared 36 percent of its 110 homicides that year, according to FBI statistics.
    Nogales also said some of the 1996 cases involve gangs and/or drugs, which also makes them harder to solve.
    In many of those cases, witnesses fear for their safety and won't come forward, Nogales said.
    He added that in some neighborhoods where gunshots aren't unusual, people don't report them after a while and victims aren't found until days or months later.
    Other cases start out as one kind of investigation and end up as a homicide.
    For instance, Sandra Gina Montoya, 32, was taken to an Albuquerque hospital Dec. 2 after being found in the 2900 block of Los Luceros NW. She apparently had been beaten while intoxicated, Nogales said.
    Shortly after, she went into a coma. Police learned about the case Dec. 10. Montoya died Dec. 19, Nogales said.
    So far this year, the city has recorded two homicides. Both are unsolved.
    When Jerry Irvin, 46, was found with his throat slashed in an East Central motel room Jan. 3, there was a time lag between when the homicide might have occurred and when the body was found, according to homicide Detective Doug Shawn.
    Irvin last was seen alive New Year's Eve.
    And on Jan. 4, neighbors in the 500 block of Texas NE awoke to arguing and gunshots.
    In the aftermath, Cuban-born Rene Espinoza, 45, was found dead near a Dumpster with at least one bullet wound to his head. Police believe his death was drug-related.
    Several people heard the arguing, the shots and a fleeing vehicle, but there were no eyewitnesses. And some people clammed up when questioned by police.
    "Nobody saw anything, if you know what I mean," an obviously frustrated Shawn said. "If they don't want to talk to us, there's nothing we can do."
    Victim Date CAUSE OF DEATH 1. Jenny Ramirez, 22 1/5/96 shot
    2. Dexter Yazzie, 37 1/24/96 beaten
    3. Travis Herrera, 32 2/1/96 shot
    4. Arthur Najar, 44 2/29/96 beaten
    5. Chris Neubauer, 35 3/1/96 stabbed
    6. Douglas Torres Gonzales, 24 3/20/96 shot
    7. Ezequiel Romero-Molina, 32 4/7/96 stabbed
    8. David Jaramillo, 43 4/22/96 shot
    9. Michael Aragon Jr., 22 4/26/96 beaten/head crushed with rock
    10. Jane Doe (unidentified) 5/2/96 blunt trauma 11. Johnny Begay, 65 5/11/96 beaten 12. Richard Brodbeck, 43 5/23/96 beaten 13. Raymond Maestas, 17 6/22/96 shot 14. Joseph Hernandez, 17 6/22/96 shot 15. John Gallegos, 21 6/28/96 shot 16. Carmen Lee Lucero, 26 8/4/96 sexual assault/strangled 17. Chris Gonzales, 25 8/17/96 shot 18. Diane Dee Tapia, 41 9/6/96 shot 19. Brett Barto, 26 9/25/96 shot 20. Geraldo Gaston, 20 10/21/96 shot 21. Sharon A. Avalos, 39 11/1/96 shot 22. David Mora, 53 11/2/96 stabbed 23. Deborah Holmes, 22 11/28/96 shot 24. Sandra Gina Montoya, 32 12/10/96 beaten Anybody with information about unsolved homicides is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 843-STOP

    Copyright (c) 1997 Albuquerque Journal
    Record Number: 1997010071

  7. #7

    Default Re: New Mexico Articles

    Albuquerque Journal (NM)
    January 10, 2000
    Page: A1

    Index Terms:


    Author: Jeff Jones Journal Staff Writer

    Article Text:
    * APD, Bernalillo County Sheriff's Dept. report more homicides than in 1998
    Some names may be familiar: Luis Garcia, Kevin Shirley and Matt Hunt, three teen-age friends shot to death early last summer.
    Other cases are less well-known: Robert Miranda, who was shot in a Jan. 19 drive-by shooting and died a month later. Or Jane Doe, an unidentified woman whose decomposed body was found by a fisherman Oct. 29 in a South Valley canal.
    These are five of the 21 homicide victims from 1999 whose killers haven't been positively identified or arrested, investigators from the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department said this week.
    The sheriff's department said Wednesday it had 21 homicide cases last year that involved 25 deaths. Nine of the cases remain unsolved, which gives the department a solve rate of about 57 percent.
    Albuquerque police said Wednesday they have solved 40 of their 49 homicides from 1999, giving APD a solve rate of almost 82 percent. An arrest warrant has been issued in one other case, but it won't be considered solved until the arrest is made, said APD Chief Jerry Galvin.
    The national average for solving homicides in 1998 was 69 percent, according to the FBI. That is the most recent year the FBI number is available.
    The number of homicide cases in the city and county jumped from 1998 to 1999: The APD reported 37 in 1998, and the sheriff's department had 17.
    Galvin said homicide is the only major crime that increased in the city from 1998 to 1999. Final 1999 statistics on rapes, aggravated assaults, robberies, burglaries, larcenies, arsons and auto thefts won't be available until later this month, but statistics through November show serious crime has dropped 12 percent overall.
    The jump in homicides "doesn't make me pleased. I'm concerned about it. I'm concerned about any homicide," Galvin said. But he said the APD's high solve rate in 1999 was the result of some "good detective work."
    The sheriff's department in 1998 solved 13 of its 17 homicide cases by the end of that year, giving it a solve rate of more than 76 percent.
    "Some years, you get them to all fall in line. And some years, you don't. It was a rougher year than normal," sheriff's department violent crimes division Lt. Don Raley said of 1999.
    Raley said Wednesday his investigators believe they have identified the perpetrators in five of their nine unsolved cases from 1999, but they need more information to make the arrests. He declined to specify the cases in which the department has narrowed down suspects.
    "It's not as though we're stumbling around in the dark. We have a good idea of who we're dealing with and who we're going after," Raley said. But "knowing who killed someone and being able to meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is two entirely different things."
    He added that in many cases, there are "people out there who can provide information that would help bring these cases to a conclusion. But they're just not stepping forward with the information."
    The lack of arrests in some cases "does not mean they're unsolvable," Raley said. "We'll see some progress."
    Raley continues to be optimistic about solving the slayings of Hunt, Shirley and Garcia. That case the most widely publicized of the year began May 29 when the teen-agers were shot to death inside Shirley's compact car after leaving a party in the East Mountains. Detectives have spent thousands of hours trying to track down the killer or killers, and a reward fund has grown to more than $36,000.
    Raley said the reward may no longer be a factor in solving the case because anyone who was a witness, and not involved in the crime, would have come forward by now.
    "If someone comes forward with some information, it's because they're in a hard spot with law enforcement," Raley said. "I don't know the monetary reward is going to be the big factor in that case."
    1999 unsolved homicides
    Information sought in 21 killings. Here is a brief sketch of 1999's unsolved homicides in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. The age of the victim was not immediately available in some cases.
    * Robert Miranda, 44, was shot Jan. 19 in the 400 block of Santa Fe SW and died a month later. City police believe someone in a vehicle shot him but have no motive. They would like to talk to witnesses or people who knew Miranda.
    * Felix William Vigil, 49, was found dead Feb. 7 on a sidewalk at 12th Street under Interstate 40. City police believe Vigil had been stabbed outside a party in the 700 block of 12th SW and walked to where his body was later found, but they have no motive for the crime. Investigators would like to talk with fellow partygoers.
    * Joel Avalos was found stabbed to death May 2 inside his home in the 1800 block of Rio Grande NW. City police said the slaying was apparently drug-related, and they believe up to four other people had been inside the home about the time Avalos was stabbed. They would like to talk to those four, or anyone who knows them.
    * Moises "Grizzly" Alderete, 19, was shot early May 25 in the 1200 block of Coal SW. City police believe it was a gang-related killing and found 34 cartridge casings at the scene. They also believe at least three to five others saw the crime. "We need some witnesses," APD Violent Crimes Sgt. Carlos Argueta said. "Thirty-four rounds is going to wake people up."
    * Matt Hunt and Kevin Shirley, both 17, and Luis Garcia, 16, were shot to death inside a compact car in the East Mountains on May 29. A witness has said a dark-colored sport utility vehicle was seen blocking the car's path moments after a long string of shots was heard. Two other teens have been questioned, but no arrests have been made.
    * Jerry Lopez's body was found May 30 on Laguna Pueblo. The 30-year-old man died of gunshot wounds, and the county sheriff's department is handling the case. Investigators believe Lopez was "closely associated with a violent and highly organized street gang in Albuquerque" and believe any witnesses might be scared of talking because of potential retaliation.
    * A man identified by the state Office of the Medical Investigator as Norman Thomas, 77, died June 2 after reportedly being assaulted in August 1998. City police have no leads in the case.
    * Leonardo Casanova Montero, 33, died after a June 12 drive-by shooting in the 500 block of Vermont NE. Police have obtained an arrest warrant in the case but don't consider it solved until they make that arrest.
    * Manuel Baca, 54, was found dead June 22 on Rosemont NW, about four blocks from his Fourth Street home. He had been stabbed in the back of the neck. Baca still had his wallet so city investigators did not believe robbery was a motive. Police believe the unknown suspect frequented Wells Park at Fifth and Mountain NW.
    * Teen-ager Elliot Vasquez died at the scene of a July 25 shootout in the 700 block of Nuanes Lane SW. City police believe someone in an '80s-model Chevy Camaro with tinted windows shot Vasquez. That shooting is believed to be gang-related.
    * Eddie Guerrero, 20, and his sister, Lisa Guerrero, 30, were shot Aug. 24 in the 200 block of Sunnyslope SW. County investigators have "strong beliefs" about who killed the pair but need more information to seal the case.
    * An unidentified woman was found by a fisherman Oct. 29 in a canal off Second Street near Interstate 25. The body of "Jane Doe" was decomposed, and investigators are still trying to identify her. The light-complected woman was about 40 to 50 years old, roughly 5 feet tall and weighed 165-175 pounds.
    * Also on Oct. 29, Jose Holguin, 21, was shot in an apparent drive-by at Coors and Arenal SW. The suspected shooter was reportedly driving a 1990s, dark-colored Honda with silver rims. He is described as a light-complected Hispanic man in his early 20s with several tattoos on his arms.
    * Fred Olivas Jr., 18, was shot Nov. 3 at Candelaria and Broadway NE after someone chased his vehicle there. City police believe the Jeep Cherokee that Olivas was in had been dragging a cat behind it before the shooting. The shooter is believed to have been in a white sport utility vehicle.
    * Servando "El Hungro" Bustillos, 35, died Nov. 10 after apparently being shot. County deputies found him in a front yard on Nutrias SW. Investigators don't know much about the man, partly because he didn't have a permanent address.
    * Angelique Griego was found dead Nov. 16 at her home in the 1300 block of Sunset SW. She had apparently been asphyxiated.
    * That same day, 45-year-old Alex Bradician was shot at his gas station at Fourth and Willow NW during an apparent robbery. A dark-colored, '80s-model Monte Carlo or Buick was seen parked behind the station, and a man wearing a white T-shirt, khaki pants and a dark-colored beanie cap was seen running out of the station. A reward fund in that case has grown to at least $5,000.
    * Fernando Brey was found shot Dec. 20 in the 3300 block of La Junta Road SW.
    People with information about any of these homicides are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 843-STOP. Callers can remain anonymous.

  8. #8
    bettybrown1623 Guest

    Default Re: New Mexico Articles

    Siler City Daily Press New Mexico

    DALLAS (AP) The
    marker on the grave of the
    unidentified baby, whose body
    was found in a trash bin, will
    .read simply "Snow White."
    , But "this baby now has a
    family who cares for her,"
    'says Mrs. Walter Baldree. She
    said she hocked her diamond
    ring to help pay for the baby's
    Baldree, 40, an unemployed
    cabinet maker, and his wife
    found the baby's body while
    they were looking through
    trash bins in the complex
    where they live. They were
    looking for aluminum cans
    they could sell.
    The couple claimed the
    infant's body Monday, after 48
    hours had passed without.
    authorities identifying the
    mother. The Baldrees wanted
    to avoid having the city give
    the baby a pauper's burial,
    said a spokesman for the Dallas
    County medical examiner.
    Tests are being made to
    determine whether the baby
    was stillborn or had died in the
    plastic bag in which it was
    "It's hard for people to
    understand," Mrs. Baldree
    said, "that things can be
    replaced, clothing can be.
    replaced, but humanlife can't.
    And this baby now has a family
    who cares for her."
    ,.,A;new.;testingjpr.gced ure,' dauTghbefl sBrfa,'
    ' l*d&reie6s ahnad v3e.. tw.>'ioit

  9. #9
    Texaskowgirl Guest

    Default Re: New Mexico Articles

    Buried Body Found Near I-40.(Metro & New Mexico)

    Publication: Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

    Publication Date: 06-MAR-00

    COPYRIGHT 2000 Albuquerque Journal

    Byline: Journal Staff and Wire Reports


    A woman's body was found buried in a shallow grave Saturday off Interstate 40, west of Albuquerque.

    State Police described the unidentified woman as 5 feet, 2 inches tall, with blond hair and weighing between 140 and 150 pounds. The case is being investigated as a homicide.

    The woman was wearing a white shirt, brown vest, blue jeans and gray boots. A wooden walking cane inscribed with the initials "R.K." was found near her body.

    Police said the cause of death is unknown. The Office of the Medical Investigator is performing an autopsy.

    A person who was target shooting found the body just south of the I-40 frontage road, about two miles east of the Rio Puerco.

  10. #10
    Texaskowgirl Guest

    Default Re: New Mexico Articles

    Albuquerque cold case featured on 'America's Most Wanted'
    By Joline Gutierrez Krueger
    Friday, January 11, 2008

    More details
    "America's Most Wanted" features the Albuquerque case "Mystery in the Desert," at 8 p.m. Saturday on KASA-Channel 2.

    A woman found buried near Nine Mile Hill more than seven years ago has been known only as Jane Doe or "Boots," a reference to the black ones she wore that jutted from the sand and alerted two hikers to her shallow grave.

    Perhaps with Saturday's airing of a segment on "America's Most Wanted," authorities will finally learn her real name.

    A film crew from the popular Fox TV crime-fighting show traveled to Albuquerque in October to shoot scenes for the segment, titled "Mystery in the Desert."

    Among those interviewed for the segment are Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White and sheriff's Detective Bill Peters of the Cold Case Unit.

    It was Peters, who is investigating the case, who contacted "America's Most Wanted" about the missing woman, segment producer Jenna Naranjo said.

    The show typically doesn't feature unidentified persons, but Naranjo said this case was irresistible.

    "We feel really good about this case," Naranjo said. "There are so many clues here. I really hope someone out there recognizes something."

    Hikers spotted the woman's boots March 4, 2000, south of I-40 and west of Albuquerque. An autopsy report indicated that she had been shot in the chest and had been buried for about 10 days, long enough to render her decomposed face unidentifiable.

    Peters told the show that he believes she was shot with a black-powder rifle, favored by some hunters and history buffs.

    She bore crude tattoos: the name "Sunny" in cursive on her right thigh and a small marijuana leaf with the number "13" on her left shoulder.

    Peters and a tattoo artist interviewed for the show said 13 often stands for the letter "M," the 13th letter in the alphabet.

    "M," they said, is often associated with the mafia, Mexican mafia and marijuana.

    Peters also speculates that the woman may have been associated with a motorcycle gang.

    The autopsy report indicates that the woman had undergone an appendectomy and a hysterectomy, and her gallbladder had been removed.

    Her toenails, save for the ones on her big toes, were gone.

    She was dressed in black jeans, white Western-cut shirt, suede vest and the black cowboy boots.

    She was 45 to 55 years old, 5-foot-3 and 153 pounds, with blond hair and brown eyes.

    She had 18 cents in a pocket and a trace of trazodone, an antidepressant, in her bloodstream.

    A cane with the initials "RK" scratched on it and a set of CDs with the name "Sandy" written on two of them were found near the body.

    But even with all those clues, Peters has not been able to uncover the woman's identity, who shot her or why she was shot.

    No one has come forward to identify the woman, nor has anyone reported a woman matching her description as missing.

    Saturday's show also features an accompanying "Behind the Scenes" segment on the show's Web site as Naranjo, a graduate of the University of New Mexico, takes viewers on a tour of Albuquerque and what it took to film the story of "Boots."

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