’48 Hours’ airs ABQ murder special, reporter reflects

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The mystery continues surrounding the double murder case of Greg and Bernadette Ohlemacher. Their story is still capturing national intrigue as “48 Hours” aired a special Saturday night.

The trial against a man acquitted of killing them is done, but the story is not over yet. The question is, “what twist will it take next?”

“48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty has been following this story for years now and she says something is missing with this case.

She spoke with KRQE News 13 to reflect on the murder that happened more than eight years ago.

“You have to admit, this is one of the oddest cases to come across our desks in ages,” Moriarty said.

It’s a case that starts way back in 2005 when Greg and Bernadette Ohlemacher were found murdered in their northwest Albuquerque home. At first, their daughter, Renee Ohlemacher, was the prime suspect.

Police would later go after Ronald Santiago, a loan processor working with the couple. Prosecutors say he killed the couple to cover up murky mortgage and that a shell casing, found in a bag at his home, matched the casings found at the crime scene.

But for Moriarty, a reporter with “48 hours,” things just didn’t add up.

“The whole case became stranger and stranger when you realize there was so little evidence against the defendant,” Moriarty said.

Saturday’s “48 Hours” episode featured the only interview with Santiago following his acquittal earlier this year.

“I don’t think I’ll ever have that true feeling of being innocent or free,” Santiago told Moriarty. “I’m the person that got away with murder in a lot of peoples’ eyes.”

It also featured clips of Renee Ohlemacher’s lie detector test with police. The results came back inconclusive.

“Do you know for sure who shot your parents?” a police detective said.

Renee replied by saying “no.”

“Is there something else you’re afraid I’ll ask you a question about?”

“No,” Renee answered.

Moriarty, who’s been with news program since 1990, says the state didn’t do much in the way of making a strong case.

“Certainly I was expecting to see some more come out at trial and we didn’t see that,” Moriarty said.

When the month-long trial finally wrapped up in February, eight and half years after the Ohlemachers were found dead, Santiago walked out of the courthouse a free man.

Moriarty criticizes how the investigation played out.

“There definitely needs to be, I think after watching a case like this, another look at how investigators actually collect evidence and document how they collect evidence,” Moriarty said. “Because I think that hurt the prosecution a great deal in this case.”

With Santiago off the hook, along with Renee Ohlemacher, Moriarty can only offer up the following.

“There is some big piece of evidence missing,” Moriarty said. ”I don’t know whether it’s connected to Renee, connected with Ron Santiago or somebody we’ve never even heard of.”

Joseph Riggs, one of Santiago’s attorneys, told “48 hours” he’d like to see APD take another look at this case. However, he says the police department will never admit any mistakes.

“48 hours” reached out to Renee Ohlemacher after the verdict was read. Her attorney says they are upset with the outcome.

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