Murder suspect charged in cold-case kidnapping

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - An accused killer let back on the streets, is back in jail. This time, Albuquerque Police say he is linked to a disturbing cold case kidnapping.

Mark Chavez was charged with murdering a woman in Moriarty. Her body was found inside her van. Those charges were dismissed, and he was let go, but police and people that know him claim he’s been attacking women for years.

“The allegations in the complaint are very disturbing,” a Metro Court Judge said during Chavez’s arraignment Tuesday.

Mark Chavez, 51, is in jail once again. Albuquerque Police said they’ve linked him to a cold case kidnapping from 2006.

“I think he’s the epitome of evil,” said one woman, who doesn’t want to be identified. She used to live near Chavez and said he beat up her daughter years ago.

But his most recent arrest is for another case. According to a criminal complaint, a woman said she was at a party near Atrisco and Central eight years ago, when a man she knew by the name, “Elvis” invited her inside for a cigarette.

The woman recalled the living room was covered in white sheets. When she asked him about it, she said “Elvis” told her he was remodeling. But things took a frightening turn.

According to the criminal complaint, the woman said when she tried to leave, she noticed the security door was tied with rope. She said she started banging on the door and calling for help, but the man grabbed her and threw her into the garage area.

The woman said the garage was covered with a black tarp, and that her attacker had items “lined up” to use in the attack. She said he beat her with a chain, tried to break her legs with a 2 x 4 and smashed a window frame over her.

The woman said she scratched her attacker’s face to get his DNA, thinking she would die.

The woman managed to escape. But police didn’t find their suspect that day. According to the criminal complaint, in her initial interview with police, the alleged victim couldn’t fully tell police what happened to her, or point out where exactly she was. The responding officer noted in his report at the time, she was covered in blood and very disoriented.

“There wasn’t enough probable cause for a warrant at that time, however the cold case unit stuck with it, but getting that DNA was the final link,” explained Sgt. Ferris Simmons, of the Albuquerque Police Department.

Cold-case APD detectives said they later learned Chavez used to own the house where the alleged attack happened in 2006. Detectives researched Chavez’s extensive criminal history including a 2004 alleged kidnapping, where he reportedly used the alias, “Elvis.”

Police tested Chavez’ DNA when he was recently picked up for stealing a hotel shuttle and said they linked it to the cold-case. Chavez was arrested for the 2006 kidnapping Monday night.

Earlier this year, Chavez was arrested for murdering Tammie Cessna in Moriarty. Her body was found inside her van, and blood was found in Chavez’s motel room, where he lived and worked.

But those charges were dropped and Chavez was released from jail.

“It’s very frustrating because like I said he’s dangerous, something should be done,” said Chavez’ old neighbor. “I don’t understand why something is not done, if maybe not jail, maybe the hospital where he’s locked up away from society because he’s dangerous.”

As for why it took so long to crack this case, APD said at the time, there were holes in the case. Simmons said further interviews and investigation led detectives to Chavez and that his DNA sealed the case.

The District Attorney for the Moriarty case previously stated Chavez’ murder charge was dropped due to a lack of forensic evidence.

The DA said they were waiting on further testing of forensic evidence, before they re-file charges. News 13 called the DA and Moriarty Police Tuesday to find out when that could happen, but they did not return our calls by airtime.

Chavez has an extensive criminal history dating back to the early 90s, including several domestic violence charges that were dismissed in court. Tuesday, a metro court Judge lowered Chavez’s bond for the kidnapping case, to $150,000 cash or surety.

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