Rio Arriba Sheriff to address 11th murder in county

Posted at: 01/02/2013 12:23 PM
By: KOB.com staff

We are expecting to learn much more Wednesday about the latest murder in Rio Arriba County.

Over the holidays, authorities there reported the 11th murder in the county in 2012.

Sheriff Tommy Rodella will hold a press conference Wednesday afternoon to explain the circumstances behind the body found Monday off highway 399 near Santa Clara Pueblo.

Investigators say Marco Beqett, 20, was murdered, but haven't said how.

In the last two weeks, the rural Northern New Mexico county has seen four other brutal homicides - and Rodella has told KOB he has no doubt the execution style killings are Mexican drug cartel related.

Earlier this month, two bodies were found inside a travel trailer in Hernandez. The victims were identified as Gino Valdez and Matthew Maestas. Both were killed in an execution style - each with five gunshot wounds hit point blank in the head. A similar scene was discovered less than two weeks later.

Two burned bodies were found in a torched mobile home near Medanales. Tomas Sanchez, 20, was one of the victims. He was also the primary suspect in the Hernandez double homicide.

"It was drug related, and we do feel that certainly there is some Mexican cartel influence in these homicides," Rodella told KOB last week. "I think we're seeing it more often, but I think anyone of us could go back probably 20, 25 years and we can see cases that would be similar to this where someone's killed and then the place is torched."

KOB will be at Rodella's press conference Wednesday and will bring you much more as it happens.