Cold Case Homicide Unit
The New Mexico State Police Cold Case Homicide Unit is responsible for investigating all unresolved homicide cases investigated by the New Mexico State Police. New Mexico State Police Cold Case homicide unit considers a case to be cold when all investigative leads have been exhausted in a murder or manslaughter investigation. Each of our agencies homicide investigations should be deemed a cold case after one year. If you have any information that would be of assistance in any of our Cold Case investigations, please telephone us at 505-827-9066, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit a tip through our online tip form.
Brian Edmonds Homicide – July, 2001
On July 29, 2001, at 2:40 a.m., State Police responded to a report of a man down in the south bound lanes of State Road 68, north of the town of Espanola. The subject, a John Doe was taken to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque, with major head trauma where he died later that day. The State Police Criminal Investigations Section was called upon to investigate. The deceased was identified as16-year-old Brian Edmonds.
Brian Edmonds was last seen at a neighbor’s birthday party, the night before he was found on the highway. According to several witnesses he was suffering from a small laceration on his head prior to his death. He left the party to walk to his home, which was a short distance away. He was found on the highway less than a mile from his residence.
The autopsy of Brian Edmonds could not determine how the injuries were received, either from a vehicle or from a blow, therefore the manner of death remains undetermined.
Missing Person Investigation – Cindy Rivera – June, 2012
On June 30, 2012, Cindy Rivera AKA “Tig” was reported missing by her family; she was last seen at 405 Peggy Lane in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Cindy disappeared under suspicious circumstances and is believed to be endangered and the New Mexico State Police need your help locating her. She was last seen wearing pink silk pajama pants and a white spaghetti-strap shirt. Anyone with information can contact New Mexico State Police Sergeant Steven Martinez by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone (505) 425-6771. There is a $50,000 reward available for information leading to the location of Cindy.
Earl & Clarissa Gonzales Homicides – September, 1999
On September 2, 1999, Mr. Earl Gonzales and his daughter, Clarissa Gonzales, were both found violently murdered inside their home in Questa, NM. Both were last seen alive on September 1, 1999. To this day, no suspects have been identified.
Eddie Verdugo & Joyleen Chavez Homicides– April, 2004
On April 16, 2004, Valencia County Sheriff’s Office responded to 27 Dean Lane in Los Lunas, NM in reference to an aggravated battery. The victims were transported to the University of New Mexico Hospital where they succumbed to their injuries. It was determined that they died from gunshot wounds. The victims were identified as Eddie Verdugo and Joyleen Chavez.
Elizabeth Gonzalez Homicide – December, 2004
On December 12, 2004, the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a body located off Sandhill Road near Tome Hill in Los Lunas, NM. The body was later identified as Elizabeth Gonzalez of Belen, NM. It was found that she was shot and left for dead on a cold night.
Janis Pulliam Homicide – July, 1989
On July 15, 1989, the body of Janis Pulliam was discovered floating in the northern portion of Elephant Butte Lake approximately two miles north of Rock House. Janis was last seen near noon on July 10, 1989. She said she was leaving town with a special friend for a few days. Janis’ vehicle, a white Mercedes, was discovered abandoned in the parking lot of the Hilton Hotel in Albuquerque on July 20, 1989.
To date, any suspects responsible for Janis’ murder have not been identified. If you have any information regarding this case, please contact the New Mexico State Police Cold Case Homicide Unit at (505) 827-9066 or email Coldcase.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jean Sturges Homicide – December, 1990
On December 7, 1990, Mrs. Jean Sturges was found shot to death inside of her residence located at 510 Highland Street in Estancia, New Mexico. Mrs. Sturges was a sixty-one year old woman who lived with her husband, Charles “Bozo” Sturges at the time of the murder. Mrs. Sturges was also co-owner of the local supermarket, Sturges Market.
Missing Persons Investigation – Jennifer Pentilla – October, 1991
On October 1, 1991, Jennifer left her home in Missoula, Montana and flew to San Diego, California. Among her possessions were her white Fuji bicycle and a return airplane ticket. Jennifer made frequent contact with family and friends via telephone from October 1 – 17, 1991. She was last seen at a Shell service station on Pine Street in Deming, New Mexico. From there she called her mother at approximately 9 a.m. on October 17, 1991. A missing persons report was generated on November 1, 1991, by the Missoula Police Department.
On September 4, 1992, hikers discovered several items belonging to Jennifer under a tarp in a remote area between Hatch and Deming, NM off of State Road 26. The investigation of Jennifer’s disappearance was the subject of national news coverage but no information as to her location has surfaced. Jennifer is 5 feet 5 inches tall, 125 pounds, blonde hair and blue eyes. Her date of birth is April 4, 1973. Anyone with information concerning the disappearance of Jennifer, please contact the New Mexico State Police Cold Case Homicide Unit at (505) 827-9066 or email Coldcase.email@example.com.
Joan Vance Homicide – August, 2003
On January 20, 2004, the State Police Criminal Investigations Section was called upon to investigate an apparent homicide in Tucumcari, NM. A local gift shop was robbed around closing time. Joan Vance, a mother of three children, who began working at the Sundowner in August of 2003, was killed.
At this time it is believed the suspects were traveling through town. The main roads through Tucumcari are I-40 and U.S. 54. Only cash was taken, no other merchandise. No suspects have been identified at this time. If you have any information regarding this case, please contact the New Mexico State Police Cold Case Homicide Unit at (505) 827-9066 or email Coldcase.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deputy Juan Ortiz Homicide – September, 1978
Deputy Ortiz was shot and killed in retaliation for killing a suspect who pointed a gun at him three weeks earlier. Deputy Ortiz was on patrol in the Santa Fe National Forest when he encountered several suspects who were harassing campers. When one of the men pointed a rifle at him he opened fire, killing the suspect. Three weeks later Deputy Ortiz was working on his ranch when he was gunned down by a man with a rifle 200 yards away. The suspect fled and was never identified. Deputy Ortiz was due to resign from the department the following day.
McKnight Homicides – November, 1984
Judy & Thomas McKnight were found murdered in the kitchen of their ranch house on November 15, 1984. They were last seen alive on November 13, 1984. It was determined that they died from gunshot wounds. There was no sign of forced entry to the residence and evidence at the scene supports that the McKnight’s either knew their assailant(s) and/or were comfortable with their being in the residence.
The case was initially investigated by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the New Mexico State Police. In December 1984, the New Mexico State Police terminated their assistance in the investigation, which was continued by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department. In August 1985, the Twelfth Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Lincoln County convened an Investigative Grand Jury into the McKnight murders. The Grand Jury did not return any indictments and recommended that the investigation continue. In September 1985, The New Mexico Attorney General and the New Mexico State Police conducted a joint investigation into the McKnight murders.
As of this date, no viable suspect(s) have been identified in this case. If you have any information regarding this case, please contact the New Mexico State Police Cold Case Homicide Unit at (505) 827-9066 or email Coldcase.email@example.com.
Michelle Nina Sanchez Homicide – July, 1999
On July 16, 1999, the deceased body of a black female was discovered on Interstate 40 at the mile marker 230 exit that intersects with State Road 3 in Torrance County, New Mexico. The decease female was identified as Michelle Nina Sanchez. She was last seen alive by her family on July 14, 1999.
Pete Lopez Homicide – March, 1997
On the morning of March 29, 1997, the body of Pete Lopez was found near the St. Jude Shrine, west of Socorro at the U.S. 60 highway. Mr. Lopez suffered from multiple gunshot wounds. Mr. Lopez had left his home early that morning to return to Alamogordo, NM. He worked at the White Sands Missile Range.
Reyes Valenzuela Homicide – February, 1995
On the morning of February 19, 1995, Mr. Reyes Valenzuela was found dead at this home in Socorro, NM. Mr. Valenzuela suffered from a gunshot wound.
As of this date, no viable suspect(s) have been identified in this case. If you have any information regarding this case, please contact the New Mexico State Police Cold Case Homicide Unit at 505-827-9066 or email Coldcase.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Sisneros Homicide
On January 26, 2007, Mr. Steve Sisneros was found murdered inside his apartment in Belen, NM. Mr. Sisneros suffered from an apparent gunshot wound.
Teal Pittington – August, 1984
Teal Pittington was last seen alive on Aug. 15, 1984 in the parking lot of a Cerrillos Road variety store. Her remains were discovered months later in a culvert about a mile south of the New Mexico Girls Ranch on U.S. 285 south of Lamy, NM. Investigators say she was strangled with her own bra.
Yvonne Martinez Homicide – October, 2003
On October 11, 2003, the New Mexico State Police Criminal Investigations Section was called upon to investigate an apparent homicide just north of Espanola, New Mexico. A passerby riding his four-wheeler located a body of a deceased female who was partially unclothed and lying face up. The victim had been shot twice, and later identified as Yvonne Martinez. Yvonne Martinez’s last verified whereabouts was at the Okay Casino just North of Espanola New Mexico. Yvonne was last seen leaving the Casino through the south exit at approximately 1:50 a.m. Evidence at the scene revealed Yvonne Martinez had struggled with her assailant. No suspects have been identified at this time.