Charges dropped against Moriarty murder suspect

Posted at: 02/07/2014 6:07 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Torrance County District Attorney's office has dropped charges against the man accused of murdering 47-year-old Tammie Cessna, citing a lack of evidence. Her family is heartbroken.

"She wasn't just hit and killed or stabbed and killed or shot and killed," Cessna's sister Wendy Cessna said. "She was brutally murdered and then thrown away like garbage in a van."

Cessna's family was livid when they learned investigators found her body in a van four days after Moriarty police seized the vehicle for evidence. They didn't search it the same day it was seized because they say they were waiting for a warrant.

"It just seemed like... It was a debacle," Cessna's brother Daniel Cessna said.

Now their world is torn apart again. Police arrested 41-year-old Mark Chavez for her murder in January. Friday, the DA's office dismissed the charges against Chavez.

"It just seems like one blow after another," Wendy Chavez said.  "Everyday we wake up and think it can't get any worse than this- and every day, something new."

The DA's office says there was a lack of evidence to charge Chavez at this time, but says charges could be refilled if police get more evidence.

"Chavez has all the rights in the world... But what do her kids have? What does my sister have? There's no rights there," Wendy Cessna said.