Officials reopen 34-year-old cold case

Leota Watson
Leota Watson

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A 34-year-old cold case murder in San Juan County is being reopened.

The body of 36-year-old Leota Watson was found in the back seat of her burnt car in Box Canyon in 1980, two weeks after she disappeared.

To this day, no one has been arrested for her death.

Watson’s children still live in Aztec and tell the Daily Times they still hold out hope the case will be solved.

Investigators believe Watson was murdered in her home. While responding to reports of a prowler, deputies found Watson’s door open and blood and bullet holes on her pillow.

Crime Stoppers is now offering a $1,000 reward in the case, if anyone can provide information that leads to an arrest. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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