Neighbors: No answers, spike in crime after murder

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A community came together Tuesday night to try and get answers about the death of their neighbor. It’s been a little more than a month since a woman was found dead, bound and naked, in her southwest Albuquerque home. Police say there’s no new information in the case and haven’t publicly said it was a murder even though a report calls it that.

That lack of information has neighbors uneasy.

“I think maybe they’re not giving us information because maybe they have something they’re really close to, that maybe they have something that may pertain to somebody around here,” Anna Jojola said.

In the time since, neighbors say crime in the area has shot up.

“I remember I woke up and I just walked outside and all the cops were like, ‘No! You need to go back inside,’ ” Jonathan Bardete said.

On June 30, Albuquerque police responded to what they would only call an ‘unattended death’ on Mayfair and Dunhill. Inside was the body of 53-year-old Danette Webb.

A police report KRQE News 13 obtained called it murder. According to that report, Webb was found bound and naked and a screen from a window had removed.

“How I feel is uneasy,” Donna Tortorella said. “We pretty much watch out for each other in the neighborhood.”

A vigil was held a week later and a makeshift memorial is now gone. On Tuesday, APD was still quiet and no new information was released.

It’s unsettling to those who call the area home.

“It may seem like the cops aren’t doing their job correctly,” Bardete said.

Many neighbors KRQE News 13 spoke with said there is still a sense of fear lingering in this neighborhood. One woman even broke down saying that fear now runs her life.

As for Tortorella, she said since that June morning there’s been a spike in crime.

“It’s a horrible feeling that you can’t even exist in your own home and have to worry about all of the crimes going on,” Tortorella said.

She lives a block over on Fenwick.

“Like my front porch, I’ve lost several items off the porch,” Tortorella said.

She said burglaries are up and heroin needles can be found lying in the street.

“I feel like, you know, I’m not safe in this neighborhood,” Tortorella said.

So she’s calling on her neighbors to come together.

“We’re going to stand up for our rights and won’t be intimidated,” Tortorella said.

Neighbors gathered Tuesday night as part of the National Night Out, hoping to start a neighborhood watch. They also invited someone from the city, who is in charge of crime prevention, to talk specifically about the case and how to make their neighborhood safer. But that person did not show up.

Instead, a lieutenant came and spoke to neighbors. He didn’t have information about Webb’s death:
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“You want to know information and I know it’s frustrating because you don’t get it. And you’re like, what happened with that, what happened with her. And I can tell you as a field lieutenant I don’t even have access to that. I’m not privy to that information,” Lt. Gabriel Mares said.

The lieutenant spent nearly two hours talking with residents about how to keep the neighborhood safe, touching on the importance of calling police on anything suspicious and getting to know your neighbors.

He also said he’d try to get back to neighbors with details about the investigation.

APD said detectives are still reviewing the evidence they’ve collected from the scene.

They’re asking anyone with information to call them.

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