Updated: Tuesday, 16 Aug 2011, 12:55 PM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 19 Jul 2011, 5:49 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) - Investigators are now combing through the truck of former Albuquerque police officer Levi Chavez in their search for answers about his wife's murder.
Chavez claims the truck was stolen four years ago. It was found in Mexico earlier this year. On Tuesday it was towed to the New Mexico State Police district headquarters in Albuquerque.
Investigators are looking for clues in connection to the death of his wife Tera Chavez and possible fraud by Levi.
Prosecutors and investigators believe the Ford F-250 is at the heart of the murder. They think Levi killed Tera in their Valencia County home in 2007 and staged it to look like a suicide. That's because they suspect Levi had staged the theft of his truck for insurance money and Tera had threatened to turn him in.
The first investigators at the murder scene noted in court documents that the day of the murder they found an affidavit to the insurance company on the mantel claiming the truck had been stolen and all the original keys had been accounted for. They noted that the affidavit had been signed by Levi, but not by Tera.
Sources close to the investigation told News 13 that the original keys from the factory were found with the truck in Mexico, contrary to what Levi has claimed.
Mexican authorities confirmed the original Vehicle Indentification Number plate on the dashboard had been replaced with a VIN plate from another truck from New Mexico. News 13 has confirmed that VIN number belonged to a truck formerly owned by Albuquerque Police Department officer Pete Dwyer. That truck, the same make and model but a different color than Chavez's, had been crashed and sold at auction before the theft.
Levi Chavez is charged with first degree murder for his wife's death. He is also facing a wrongful death lawsuit from his wife's family.
He has pleaded not guilty, and his attorney has said he and Chavez believe they can show Tera Chavez's death actually was a suicide.