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New Mexico Cold Cases

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New Mexico Murders

Several local and state law enforcement and investigation agencies provide information on their websites regarding the number of murders in New Mexico by year. In addition to local and state organizations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation releases an annual Uniform Crime Report to the public, which focuses on detailing the types of crimes and crime data statistics for most cities and counties in each state, along with other types of information per state.

According to Project: Cold Case, there were approximately 6,579 homicides in New Mexico between 1980 and 2019. Approximately 4,302 of those murders have since been solved, yet there are currently approximately 2,277 unsolved murders in New Mexico.

Some examples of the many unsolved murders in northern New Mexico which can be easily found within numerous databases/lists include the 2001 murder of Brian Edmonds, the 1999 double murder of Earl and Clarissa Gonzalez, the 2003 murder of Yvonne Martinez, the 1992 murder of Carla Helmer, and the 2004 murder of Brenda Wright, among many others. Additionally, some of the many unsolved central New Mexico murders include the 2004 double murder of Eddie Verdugo and Joyleen Chavez, the 1989 murder of Janis Pulliam, the 1990 murder of Jean Sturges, the 1999 murder of Michelle Nina Sanchez, and the 1995 murder of Reyes Valenzuela, along with the 2006 disappearance of Shawntell Monique Waites.

In addition, a few examples of the numerous unsolved murders in Santa Fe, New Mexico, include the 1998 murder of Mitchell Hanrahan, the 1988 murder of Annette Gonzales, the 1985 murder of Susan LaPorte, the 1986 murder of Roberta Michelle Montoya, and the 1981 murder of Beverly Ann Riccio, among many others. Lastly, some examples of the many unsolved murders in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, which can be found in the same lists/databases include the 1986 murder of Gloria Mares, the 2008 murder of Scott Lloyd, and the 1975 murder of Debbie Cargill, among many others.

Unsolved New Mexico Murders

According to the unsolved homicide statistics page on Project: Cold Case’s website, there are around 2,277 unsolved New Mexico cold cases remaining today. As previously mentioned, the New Mexico State Police have built a cold case website, including most of the state’s unsolved missing persons and unsolved murders in New Mexico. In addition, several other local and county law enforcement agencies offer information on the cold cases in their jurisdiction on their websites, along with Project: Cold Case, who hosts a public cold case database that is home to nearly 25,000 cold cases around the U.S.

A few of the many northern New Mexico unsolved murders that are frequently listed on several law enforcement websites and other databases include the 2001 murder of Brian Edmonds, the 1999 double murder of Earl and Clarissa Gonzalez, the 2003 murder of Yvonne Martinez, the 1992 murder of Carla Helmer, and the 2004 murder of Brenda Wright, among others. Also among the lists are several unsolved murders Santa Fe, New Mexico, which include the 1998 murder of Mitchell Hanrahan, the 1988 murder of Annette Gonzales, the 1985 murder of Susan LaPorte, the 1986 murder of Roberta Michelle Montoya, and the 1981 murder of Beverly Ann Riccio, along with many others.

In addition, more examples of the seemingly endless number of unsolved murders New Mexico which are often included in the lists of cold cases are the many east New Mexico unsolved murders. These include the 2004 murder of Joan Vance, the 1983 murder of Jean Simmons Abla, the 1981 murder of Mildred Reagan, and the 2008 double murder of Jessie Morales and Michelle Amy Phillips, along with others.

Joseph Smedley
Joseph SmedleySuspicious Death, 2015
Asha Degree
Asha DegreeMissing, 2000

Consider this

More than 200,000 unsolved cases have gone cold since 1980, and murder clearance rates continue to drop. With equity for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underserved victims not prioritized in the true crime community—together we can do better.

Famous New Mexico Murders

Although you may not be able to think of any famous New Mexico murders off the top of your head, there are several names on the list of all New Mexico murders and even several notorious New Mexico criminals which have seemingly become more recognizable over time, whether or not you have ever lived in New Mexico. You can easily find a list of New Mexico murders which remain unsolved on various law enforcement websites, including the New Mexico State Police’s cold case webpage.

A few of the most infamous New Mexico murders which currently remain unsolved include the 1990 Las Cruces Bowling Alley Massacre, in which 7 people were murdered by two unknown assailants, and the mass grave filled with the remains of 13 women and one unborn child in West Mesa, along with the 2006 disappearance of Shawntell Monique Waites and several others that you may recognize.

Homicide Rate in New Mexico

The violent crime rate in New Mexico was around 832.2 per 100,000 inhabitants of the state, according to the 2019 Uniform Crime Report published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In addition, the homicide rate in New Mexico was around 8.6 per 100,000 residents, according to the same Uniform Crime Report from 2019. As of the latest count, there were more than 85,000 people living in Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, which is significantly fewer than the state’s largest city, Albuquerque. According to numerous data sources, the violent crime rate in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2018 was approximately 395.6 per 100,000 residents of the relatively small city, and the Santa Fe, New Mexico, murders rate was around 5.94 the same year. While there is currently no definite way to estimate how many murders in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2021 or how many murders in New Mexico 2021, looking into archived reports will show you that the homicide rates in both the city and state as a whole seem to be slowly rising as time passes.

Santa Fe County Murders

Santa Fe County, New Mexico, currently has a population of more than 151,000 inhabitants, despite holding the state’s capital city. Even though we don’t know exactly how many Santa Fe County murders have taken place in previous years, we can look into archived Uniform Crime Reports posted by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety in order to see the current trends. According to these archived reports, we can see that there were 6 murders in 2016, 15 in 2017, 15 in 2018, 14 in 2019, and another 14 in 2020. Based on this data, it seems as if the number of criminal homicides committed in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, has risen in the last 5 years but has remained steady overall.

In certain homicide cases, authorities are able to acquire adequate evidence to charge their prime suspect with the crime and bring them to Santa Fe County murders trial. The types of evidence that are most commonly used in Santa Fe County homicide trials is almost entirely dependent on the nature of the crime itself. Blood, skin cells, sperm, or other types of DNA evidence, cell phone pings, weapons, and most commonly, Santa Fe County murders crime scene photos, which are frequently used to highlight the atmosphere around the crime in addition to any other aspects of the crime scene to the judge and jury.

Santa Fe, New Mexico, Murders

Santa Fe, New Mexico, homicides appear to be less prevalent than homicides in other cities in New Mexico, most likely due to its relatively small size and population. Many of the recent and past unsolved murders in Santa Fe, New Mexico, have been solved, most likely due to advancements in DNA technology and improvements in law enforcement protocol. As for those cases that remain unsolved, law enforcement will continue to use every resource in order to find the answers that families deserve. As anticipated, until all of these murders are solved, individuals will continuously speculate and exchange information about Santa Fe murders pictures, Santa Fe murders crime scene photos, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, murders autopsy photos on various popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Reddit, and Websleuths.

As previously mentioned, in recent years, massive advancements in DNA technology, as well as updates and changes in law enforcement and forensic protocols, have led to hundreds, if not thousands, of decades-old cold cases being solved. Some examples of the numerous cases in which Santa Fe murders DNA or DNA from crimes in other parts of New Mexico was utilized to solve or bring new information to cold cases include the following: the 2018 murder of Robert Romero, the 1985 murder of Roger Dean, the 2002 murder of Sasha Hedgecock, and the 1980 murder of Viola Hagenkord, among many others.

New Mexico Serial Killers

Throughout history, New Mexico seems to have dealt with more than its fair share of New Mexico killers and New Mexico serial killers. Several famous New Mexico serial killers may easily be found on any type of serial killer list, including list of serial killers in New Mexico or New Mexico serial killer list. Some of the most recognizable and notorious New Mexico serial killers who frequent these lists include the following: David Parker Ray, also known as “The Toybox Killer,” a suspected serial killer who is known to have abducted and tortured at least 3 individuals; and another potential serial killer known as the “West Mesa Bone Collector,” who is believed to have been responsible for murdering 11-13 women and an unborn child and burying them in a desert near Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Crimes in New Mexico

Several local, state, and even federal law enforcement organizations have published public annual crime reports on their websites, which detail the types and frequency of crimes in that area, if you’re interested in learning more about crimes in New Mexico. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation publishes an annual Uniform Crime Report that shares the types of crimes committed and the crime rates in every state in the country, including a comprehensive report for crime in New Mexico.

Sadly, it seems that there may never be an end to the number of New Mexico homicide and true crime stories in New Mexico, despite law enforcement’s best efforts. Between 1980 and 2019, there were approximately 6,579 murders in New Mexico, according to Project: Cold Case’s unsolved homicide statistics webpage. According to the same source, around 4,302 of those homicides have been solved as time passed, yet leaving roughly 2,277 homicides unsolved in New Mexico. Nevertheless, New Mexico’s several law enforcement and investigating organizations will never give up their mission to solve every single one of New Mexico’s true crimes.

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Additional New Mexico Cold Cases

Kirby AbeitaDavid AdamsMark AguilarTrinidad AlcantarHolly Alcott WhiteLeroy AlmanzaBrenda ApalacioEugene BegayTanya BegayRaymond BegayWade BenallyMiguel BernalFrederick BersaneBeatrice BiscainoWilliam Blodgett Jr.Roy BluebirdArden Bogart JrQuincy BookerAlesha BrookshierStephanie BrownMichael BurckleyTara CalicoStephen CareyEdgar CastroJohn CatesAnthonette CayeditoDavid ChavezDominic ChavezPatricia ChesherBetty ClawAshley CollinsTheresa ConchaNoha ContrerasYolanda CoronadoPaul CoupeyBeatrice Cubelos-LopezJesus CuevasDaniel DavisJeanette DelacruzCynthia DeppeDwen DevennyAntonio DominguezJack Dowdy JrWalcie DowningRichard DuffyDebbie EscalanteJoel Esquivel-DominguezLeWayne EtcittyHerman EtcittyJennifer EvansJose FarfanHarvey FernandezSelfa FloresVenita GannonInez GarciaBetty GarciaGloria GastarBrittany GladdenDaniel GoldbergGarrett GoldtoothJesus GonzalesJose GonzalesFelipa GonzalesJose GonzalesCarmen GonzalezAlicia GonzalezJesus Gonzalez-MolinarBarbara GouldMichael GreenDavid GuerreraOrlando GuerroGeorge HansonCraig HarrisonCharles HawkinsWilliam HeadJack HembyLaura HernandezElizabeth HernandezNina HerronRobert HogueSharron HolcombBarbara HolikStephen HoltDebra HorganGirly HossencofftJay JacksonMelanie JamesDavon JamesonElaine Jaramillo-VigilMerlinda JenkinsAbraham JimenezTommy JobeTeddy JoeJonathan JohnAlaysha JohnsonOthel JohnsonJean JohnsonAudralina Jones-SenaRyan JudkinsChristine JulianAngel Kelton McmanesBarry KephartTravis KillenGloria KingMarjorie KnoxDebra LandsdellVelda LeybaYvonne LopezGrace LopezLilly LopezChristobal LovatoRamon Loya-RasconO'Dina LuceroMartha LucherJose LunaVicky LynnSkyla MarburgerDiana MartinCalvin MartinezErnest MartinezSergio MartinezEugena MartinezJimmy MathewsFred McDowellEnrique MedelMark MestasDavid MieraShannon MilesMiquela MontanoMelissa MontoyaMelena MontoyaEusebio MontoyaJiles MorrisWesley MoteMel NadelBrian NelsonShylyne OrdonezDavid OrtizJillian OrtizMichelle OteroJon OttesenAntonia PadillaKathy PaquinSteven ParksSandra PayneLeah PeeblesJennifer PentillaJoshua PerryShayne PetersonTamicka PlateroClinton PorterTammy PruettRodolfo RamirezEduardo Ramirez-LlamasPepita Madalyn RedhairVanessa ReedTiffany ReidEdna ReynoldsMichael ReynoldsOsciel RicoAnn RiffinDavid RistovskiCindy RiveraJoseph RoachRaquel RodriguezAngie RomeroSteven RomeroRobert RomeroAshley RosalesTristin RoutzenJanson SecodyMary Lou SenaBilly SenaEva Serna-BarelaJoseph ShalomSusan SheeleyEdward SierraJean Simmons AblaBlake SlaughterNicholas SmithBenjamin SmithMiguel SotoDebra StewartLewis StoufferWade TaylorAuriana TaylorCaroline TeagueTina TealPernell TewangiotewaJerome ThomasVictor TrejoEmma TrespJill TroiaDarlene TrujilloAnderson TsoCaroline TsosieSherri ValdezEsther ValdezOrlando ValdezAdrian VallesGordon VessellsJulia VicenteElmer VictorAnna VigilCarla VigilShawntell WaitesShawntell Monique WaitesBennett WallEdyth WarnerSanders WelchHarvey WhitacreTyrannus WhiteHarvey WhiteAlice WhiteRichard WilliamsRichard WoodringNathan Yazzie