VEGUITA, N.M. (KRQE) - People in a small New Mexico town are in shock after learning that a woman there may have been murdered inside her home.
Just south of Belen is the community of Veguita with a population of about 250 people. The only gas station in town serves as the grocery store and fast food joint.
"It's pretty quiet except the trucks going by," said one resident.
That all changed last week, though.
"A lot of police like day and night. They've been driving up and down stopping people," said Edgar Johnson.
New Mexico State Police said they found Veronica Romero, 34, dead inside her Veguita home early last week. They said Romero didn't show up for an appointment last Monday. When they went to her house to check on her, they said that's when officials found her body.
The news hit the rural community hard.
"I feel threatened, being that the perpetrator could be here in the area," said Johnson.
The rumors immediately started to spread too.
A handful of people told KRQE News 13 someone attacked and killed Romero.
"I heard that it was a drug deal gone bad and that she was burned alive and murdered and thrown under a mattress," said one resident who did not want to be identified.
State Police have not released any details into Romero's death.
KRQE News 13 went to Romero's home on Wednesday. A majority of the house's windows were shattered and ashes were strewn about in the front yard.
People in town said they want answers.
"I figure if they have enough gull to do that then they are probably able to do other things and who knows what might happen if they don't catch him," said Johnson.
Romero's death comes about a week after Valencia County Sheriff's Deputies said a Los Chavez woman was randomly beaten and raped inside her home.
They're still looking for her attacker.