Albuquerque police officer befriends young girl after father’s sudden death

ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque police officer has found an unexpected friend – a 13-year-old girl. It’s a relationship forged by tragedy.

It was a call that Albuquerque Police Department Officer Frank Tafoya says he couldn’t get out of his head.

“We take hundreds of calls a month and this was one of those ones that just kind of touches you and sticks with you,” said Tafoya.

Mikayla Secreast’s life was turned upside down when her father died unexpectedly just four weeks ago.

Tafoya, who has been with APD for more than 6 years, and other officers in the department wanted to do anything they could to help Mikayla get through such a tragedy.

“ We didn’t want to end it that night  at the scene we definitely wanted to go back and see if they were okay and see if there was anything else they needed from us,” he said.

A friendship sparked between officer Tafoya and Mikayla. While they were having the conversation, Tafoya found out Mikayla likes horses.

“I said I know someone who has horses and she said who and I said me and my family. So that led to Dion’s pizza and horseback riding down at our house,” said Tafoya.

After her father’s death, Mikayla moved in with her neighbor’s family. They say the support that they have received from everyone has been amazing.

“The officer, the whole family, dad, girlfriend everyone’s been wonderful to Mikayla,” said Raymond Diaz, Mikayla’s neighbor.

Mikayla will be moving to utah soon to live with her mom but Diaz says Mikayla will never forget the kindness of everyone here. 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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