New Mexico State Police have found at least four sets of human …
Updated: Thursday, 25 Jun 2009, 6:01 PM MDT
Published : Thursday, 25 Jun 2009, 12:16 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The state Office of the Medical Investigator on Thursday said presumptive tests on three of the four skeletal remains retrieved from a car found in Cochiti Lake showed they were those of three boys reported missing in 2001.
Medical investigators are still waiting to conduct final tests to confirm the identities of the remains, but OMI spokesperson Amy Boule said there's a "very strong presumptive" identification on the boys as 12-year-old Richard Sanchez Jr., 9-year-old Daniel Sanchez and 2-year-old Christopher Sanchez.
The fourth set of remains has not been positively identified, but officials say they are that of an adult. Boule said dental records could not be found for Richard Robert Sanchez, the boys' father.
In 2001, according to state police, the elder Sanchez picked up the three boys during a custody visit, but soon disappeared.
He had been accused of raping a family member, using a stun gun and fork on the victim. Police believe he had removed the monitoring bracelet he had been wearing shortly before he disappeared.
The car was found in Cochiti Lake last Thursday, June 18, as crews searched for a pickup truck after its owner said he thought it went into the lake.
The car had belonged to Sanchez, officials confirmed through the vehicle identification number and license plate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.