EDGEWOOD, N.M. (KRQE) – Two East Mountains teens have been charged with beating a 62-year-old woman to death. One of them says she caught them hiding out in her backyard after they had looted her home of guns and ammo.
The Torrance County Sheriff says this investigation is far from being complete.
He says this is one of the worst crimes he has seen in the area, and he knows it has shaken neighbors as well.
“I’m getting phone calls from miles away or just down the road that are scared day and night now because this situation hit so close to home and it could have happened to just about anybody,” Sheriff Heath White said.
Deputies have charged 16-year-old Nicklus Diminovich and 17-year-old Bryant Lee Vigil in the murder of Deborah Zeutzius.
According to Torrance County deputies, it was a burglary turned deadly earlier this month. They say Zeutzius was home alone when she found two boys hiding out in her backyard workshop.
Vigil told deputies that Diminovich hit the woman in the head with a bar, killing her.
Neighbors nearby say knowing the two boys are from that area makes this crime even more frightening.
“I was scared because it could have been any of us, so I had that fear. It was also just surprising. It begins to make you feel not so secure out here for an area I have felt so secure in the past,” said neighbor Judie Harris.
Deputies say the two teens ransacked the woman’s home, stealing several firearms and ammunition. That’s what helped authorities link them to the crime.
According to the criminal complaint, the teens gave the guns to someone who then tried selling them to a relative of Zeutzius’ husband.
Vigil told authorities it was Diminovich’s father who told the boys to get rid of the guns because Diminovich was on probation.
The 16 and 17-year-old boys could get life in prison if they’re convicted and then sentenced as adults.