RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) - Rio Rancho police arrested a retired state cop Tuesday in a cold-case murder dating back to 2011.
Retired New Mexico State Police officer Jack McDowell, 56, and his son John McDowell, 36, both of Rio Rancho are being held on open counts of murder and charges of aggravated burglary and tampering with evidence.
Cash-only bonds of $1 million have been set for both men.
They are suspects in the murder of, James Chavez, 35, who was found dead in his home off Idaho Creek Road in July 2011.
Investigators believed early on that Chavez knew his killers but were unable to figure out who they were.
At an afternoon news conference Rio Rancho police did not reveal a motive for the crime. However they said the murder was not random and that the young McDowell knew Chavez.
The father and son had been persons of interest in the crime for several months, but investigators recently came up with new information, according to police.
Police said the McDowells were taken into custody without incident when search and arrest warrants were served at a home in the 100 block of Mica Drive early Tuesday morning. Tactical officers were involved in the takedown because the elder McDowell was familiar with police procedures, police said.
Neighbors told KRQE News 13 they heard loud noises in the area around 8:30 p.m.
Investigators were at the home all day.
Jack McDowell retired from the State Police more than 10 years ago, but a spokesperson said details of his duties will require a search of archives.
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