Police name murder suspect in cold case

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – The case went cold for years.

An 18-year-old woman was found dead in an arroyo in Rio Rancho in 2008.

Now, police say they know who killed Amber Turberville.

“I miss my daughter so much and I just want to know what happened to her,” said Kimberly Jarnagin, Amber’s mother.

Jarnagin is one step closer to those answers now that Rio Rancho Police have announced they’re charging 31-year-old Ricardo Garcia in the murder of the 18-year-old.

Six years ago, Amber’s body was found dumped in an arroyo in Rio Rancho. Days later, her car was found abandoned south of Belen.

Now, Garcia is charged with first degree murder and tampering with evidence.

“One of our charges is as investigators is to keep these cases at the forefront, to be a voice and advocate for that victim and to bring somebody to justice for the crime that was committed,” said Capt. Gary Wiseman with the Rio Rancho Police Department.

With new evidence, including phone records and DNA, Rio Rancho detectives saw an opportunity to finish what they started in 2008. The District Attorney’s office agreed there was enough evidence to bring the case to a Grand Jury.

“It’s a critical case because it’s a cold case,” said 13th Judicial District Attorney Lemuel Martinez. “Cold cases are very difficult to move on and indict.”

Garcia, who has a history of drug dealing convictions in New Mexico, is currently serving time in a California prison also for drugs.

He will be transferred to New Mexico for his arraignment in July.

Amber’s mother says her daughter was smart, full of life and like too many teens, took a wrong turn.

“My daughter had an addiction to methamphetamine. I do believe maybe her lifestyle was tied into this, but we don’t know that,” she said. “Even if a person has an addiction, it never warrants being murdered.”

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