ROY, N.M. (KRQE) – A small New Mexico town, population 300, was shocked by the death of an 89-year-old woman. Investigators initially called it suspicious but now they say it was murder.
The woman’s daughter is now under arrest.
“Right away, it was very suspicious,” Sergeant Damyan Brown with New Mexico State Police said.
The small town of Roy was rocked by the death of one of their own.
“Oh, it’s devastating,” Harding County Undersheriff Raymond Gutierrez said at the time. “It makes you want to run and hide. You don’t know what’s going to happen next.”
It was back in January when 89-year-old Geraldine Ray was found face down in her ranch home.
Investigators are calling her death murder.
“Throughout that investigation, there appeared to be some inconsistent statements made by the daughter,” Brown said.
That daughter, Donna Ray, lived with Geraldine and tonight she’s behind bars.
“It was hinging on the autopsy report.”
A criminal complaint mentions some of what was found during the autopsy. It says Donna tried calling family members first, not 911 after finding her mother with a piece of brown tape over her mouth and pieces of cotton up her nose
The criminal complaint says the autopsy showed even more disturbing signs like bruising to the back of both shoulders, indicating some kind of force.
Donna told police her mother killed herself, saying she found two suicide notes. Investigators quickly ruled that out.
“Typically, you wouldn’t see something like that as part of a suicide,” Brown said.
On top of everything else, investigators say Donna Ray never quite cooperated with them and avoided them, saying she didn’t see the point in meeting.
As for a motive, that question is still unanswered according to Brown. It’s the question the small town hopes get answered.
“Even though they’re in a rural community and everyone may know each other, you just never know,” Brown said.
Donna Ray is being held at the Quay County Detention Center.