Homicide Suspect Arrested in Santa Rosa

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Written by Officer Ray Wilson 09/22/2021

Santa Rosa, NM – On September 20, 2021, at around 2:30 p.m., the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was requested by the Santa Rosa Police Department to investigate a homicide at 141 North 8th Street in Santa Rosa.

NMSP Investigations Bureau agents learned that an altercation had occurred inside the residence between Rex Saiz, 44, of Santa Rosa, and his parents. During the altercation, Saiz brandished a firearm, discharged the firearm at his mother but did not strike her. Saiz then discharged the firearm at his stepfather, Thomas Ulibarri, 58, of Santa Rosa. Thomas Ulibarri was struck by gunfire and pronounced deceased at the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator.

After shooting Thomas Ulibarri, Rex Saiz fled the area. An extensive search was conducted with the assistance of the New Mexico State Police Tactical Team and helicopter. Saiz was located at about 10:00 p.m. at the Super 8 Motel in Santa Rosa with his girlfriend, Gina Tower, 50, of Santa Rosa.

Saiz was arrested without incident and charged with an Open Count of Murder in the First Degree and Attempted Murder in the First Degree.

Gina Tower was also arrested and charged with Harboring or Aiding a Felon. Saiz and Tower were booked into the Guadalupe County Detention Center.

NMSP Investigations Bureau agents work to independently determine the series of events that led up to the incident, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews. Throughout the process, investigative findings are shared with the district attorney for their review and consideration. After the investigation, it will be turned over to the appropriate district attorney.

This incident remains under investigation by the NMSP Investigations Bureau.