Albuquerque woman murdered in Arizona home invasion

SURPRISE, Ariz. (KRQE) – Police in Arizona say an Albuquerque woman was murdered there last week in a home invasion.

Ruth Schwed, 75, was found dead, along with her friend, Barbara Leslie, 70.

Schwed was visiting Leslie at her Surprise, Arizona, home located about 40 minutes outside Phoenix.

Police were called to the Surprise home on February 9th, after an out of state relative asked them to conduct a welfare check there. Both women had been shot to death.

Schwed was a long-time Albuquerque Public School teacher and her neighbors say she had lived in her Foothills neighborhood near Tramway and Paseo Del Norte for years.

“So many people in the neighborhood, you only see them coming and going but Ruthie was always out around walking and anytime there was a new neighbor she always introduced herself,” said Neighbor Ray Wood.

“It’s such a shock because it always happens to other people, doesn’t happen to us,” said one neighbor who didn’t want to be identified.

Those who knew Schwed wonder how someone could do something so brutal to her.

“When something like that happens I guess, you ask, why, where does that malice come from,” said the unidentified neighbor.

Wood said, “It’s tragic, I can’t imagine something happening to two ladies.”

Police in Surprise have little to go on. Leslie’s car, stolen from the home, was found abandoned at a Phoenix apartment complex.

The shooting happened in a quiet retirement community. Investigators are trying to figure out if a recent break-in and another home invasion in the area are related to this crime. 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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