Deputies investigating double murder in Hernandez (UPDATED)

Posted at: 12/11/2012 2:27 PM
Updated at: 12/11/2012 6:14 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Deputies are investigating a brutal double murder in Hernandez, near Espanola.  They said two men were shot and killed execution style in Rio arriba County.  One of the men was a father of three, and grandfather of six.

Now, as Sheriff's Deputies unravel just exactly what happened, that family is in mourning.

The family believes Joseph "Gino" Valdez was an innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time.  They said he was trying to help a friend.  He and that friend were found dead inside a burning trailer Monday night.

Deputies believe the fire was just recently set to get rid of the evidence.

The family of Valdez filled the conference room at the Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Office, anxiously waiting for more information.  But some of it was too tough to hear.

Valdez's daughter Andrea said her father had befriended Maestas and was taking him to church regularly.  She said her father was trying to help Maestas turn his life around, and Monday night he was simply trying to help his friend.

"He was trying to help him.  He was taking him a hamburger, Lotaburger.  Everything was found, the time frame...right after it happened.  He took his friend a burger...and just happened to be there," his daughter said.

The Sheriff said they have a theory about what happened and are following up on leads.  But he didn't release any other details on the case.  Sheriff Rodella did say he knew both victims, and that one of them even helped him with his election.

"My heart breaks for the family," Sheriff Rodella said.

Sheriff Rodella said that he believes at least one of the victims knew the murderer.  He also said he believes there is likely more than one suspect.

The family of Valdez has a fund for help with funeral expense set up at Wells Fargo and the State Employees Credit Union.