ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Investigators have suspended for now the search for campsites used by Joseph Burgess, the Jemez Mountain burglar who died in a gun battle that also killed a sheriff's deputy nearly three weeks ago.
They aren't giving up and are asking hikers with satellite-positioning devices to keep an eye out for suspicious campsites. However after several days of trekking the rugged country--and the breakthrough discovery of remains of one of Burgess's presumed victims--investigators needed a break.
“That's over 100 square miles in just the La Cueva area not including the Jemez Mountains,” State Police Lt. Eric Garcia told KRQE News 13. “It's a little better right now for the Investigations Bureau as well as other law enforcement agencies that we follow through on definitive facts right now.”
Early on the morning of July 16 broke into a cabin near La Cueva where two Sandoval County sheriff's officers were in hopes of capturing the Cookie Bandit, a burglar who had plagued the remote area for a decade. After a struggle Burgess was handcuffed but still was able to pull a pistol and shoot Sgt. Joe Harris.
Harris was able to return fire killing Burgess before dying from his own wound sometime later. The second officer was not injured.
Burgess's fingerprints later revealed him to be wanted in British Columbia, Canada, for the murders of a man and woman camping on a beach in 1972. The pistol Burgess was carrying was traced to David Eley who went camping in the Jemez Mountains in 2006 and disappeared.
On Friday searchers looking for Burgess's campsite found a site they believed was used by Eley. They also found human remains which the FBI later reported to be Eley.