ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Who was inside the charred pathfinder, and who killed them? That's what Bernalillo County investigators are still trying to find out after finding two bodies inside the SUV on the Pajarito Mesa Tuesday.
"When bodies are burned to that extent a lot of evidence goes up in flames with them," Sgt. Mark Kmartz said Wednesday.
Sources told KRQE News 13 investigators have identified one of the bodies but are waiting on the Office of the Medical Investigator to confirm it.
"The bodies, as they were recovered from the vehicle, appeared to be laying down," said Kmatz. They were in the back cargo area, he added.
Both bodies are at the Office of the Medical Investigator for positive IDs and a determination on the causes of death.
"We are crossing our fingers for dental records," Kmatz said. "That would be a good, quick resolve getting their identity. DNA could, like you said, take quite a while".
All investigators know at this point is that somebody drove the Pathfinder out to the desert southwest of Albuquerque on the Monday night and lit the SUV on fire. The SUV and bodies were found the next day.
A resident of the remote and sparsely settled area reported the fire, but by the time firefighters arrive it was out and could not be located.
Investigators say they don't even know what was used to accelerate the fire, but they do know it was strong.
"Fire so hot that aluminum out of the engine had melted into pools on the ground," Kmatz said. "The glass from the windshield had melted against what was left of the dash like icicles."
Investigators searched an apartment at a complex near San Pedro Avenue and Gibson Boulevard where the owner of the Pathfinder lives. Investigators said they have not made contact with that man and cannot say if he is somehow involved with the murders or is one of the victims.
They can't even say if the desert site is the only crime scene.
"There is a high potential right now that that's a secondary crime scene, that they may have not have been killed there." Kmatz said.
Investigators are asking people with information to call them directly at 975-8459.
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