Still no arrests 6 years after West Mesa murders discovery

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It was six years ago today that Albuquerque realized it had a serial killer. The bones of eleven women were found buried on the city’s west mesa. But are Albuquerque Police any closer to figuring out who’s behind the murders?

APD won’t call the “West Mesa Murders a cold case, but they still won’t name any suspects in fact, the department has a bigger pool of people they’re looking at than ever before.

The 11 families involved in the murder cases are still mourning their daughters lives. One of them placing balloon at the mass grave site on Monday morning.

The victims were all women mixed up in drugs and prostitution who disappeared between 2003 and 2005. Each one was found buried in a shallow grave on the west mesa. But in all of these years since their bones were excavated from the largest crime scene in the city’s history, Albuquerque Police are still very short on conclusive answers in the case.

“We can’t manufacture evidence, we can’t make people talk to us,” said Officer Tanner Tixier, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department.

The West Mesa Murders are part of what is one of the largest unsolved serial killer cases in U.S. history.

“We’re doing everything we can,” said Tixier.

A website called “helpuscatchakiller.com is still running today along with a tipline. APD is also still offering a 100-thousand dollar reward for information leading to an arrest.

“It’s not going, or gone cold at all,” said Tixier.

However, by the department’s own statements, APD may be far away from any kind of conclusion in the case.

In 2009, then APD Chief Ray Schultz said there were five suspects. In 2014, APD Commander Anthony Montano told News 13 that there were about a dozen suspects.

On the 6th anniversary of the discovery of the bones, APD says there are about 20 people suspects.

“Yeah by that pool people technically is getting a little bigger, I wouldn’t say that we’re going backwards by any means, I would say that it’s actually opening up more possibilities to find who actually did this,” said Tixier.

News 13 has reported the department has focused on two people. The first, a man named Joseph Blea. He’s an accused serial rapist who’s behind bars awaiting trial for unrelated cases. The second man is named Lorenzo Montoya. He was shot and killed by a pimp after strangling a prostitute. APD still won’t confirm that either man is a suspect

City Councilor Ken Sanchez used to represent the area where the bodies were found. Sanchez says he believes APD is working the case as hard as they can.

“I think this case is probably one of the most difficult case, if not the most difficult cases they’ve ever had to work on,” said Ken Sanchez.

Anderson Heights Memorial Park Final Design
Anderson Heights Memorial Park Final Design

News 13 spoke with the families of five different victim on Monday. None of those families say they’re heard from APD either recently or in years. APD contends that it is staying in touch with the families or trying to contact them.

There have long been plans to build a memorial park at the burial site of the victims. News 13 questioned Councilor Ken Sanchez about the plans Monday. Sanchez says he believes the memorial park is now 6 to 8 months away from being built.

The park’s design has been finalized by the city and developer KB Homes. Sanchez says once it is approved by the “Development Review Board,” crews will be allowed to begin building the park. Sanchez says he hopes to see it completed by the end of 2015.

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