ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The prime suspect in the murder of a young Albuquerque woman is dead after he was involved in a shootout with Bernalillo County Sheriff's deputies.
Amanda Wiley's body was found naked in a ditch in Albuquerque's North Valley in April. Investigators say the 18-year-old had been shot in the back of the head before her body was disposed of.
Police had been looking for a light blue minivan seen leaving the scene where Wiley was believed to have been killed. They had been focusing on a van matching that description belonging to 33-year-old convicted felon Jerry McDonald.
In early June detectives found a shell casing and a latex glove in the driver's seat while searching the van at McDonald's home, blocks away from where Wiley's body was found. On Monday investigators learned that the shell casing found matched one found at the Wiley murder scene.
Police obtained an arrest warrant for McDonald and located him on Tuesday around 7 p.m. McDonald was riding as a passenger in that same light blue minivan. His girlfriend, Stephanie Snyder was driving.
When police tried to pull Synder over they say she sped off and a chase ensued at which time police say McDonald began to shoot at them, possibly with the same .40 caliber weapon used to kill Wiley. Deputies say they took out the minivan on Atrisco near Bridge.
Deputies traded gunshots with McDonald, hitting him twice in the head and killing him.
"Absolutely our deputies were in grave danger as he was firing at them, striking their vehicle during this [altercation]," said Capt. Jessica Tyler with the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office.
According to a criminal complaint, Snyder told police that McDonald and 20-year-old accomplice Nancy Kousonsavath had beaten Wiley to try to find out where drugs were and ultimately shot her when she would not or could not tell them. When the two returned to the home, Snyder said Kousonsavath had blood on her hands.
Deputies say Wiley and McDonald were at least acquaintances before he shot her.
Today deputies obtained an arrest warrant for Kousonsavath and are asking anyone with information on where she is to call (505) 249-0871.
McDonald had more than a dozen arrests on his record and had been charged with child abuse, rape and auto burglary.
Snyder has been charged with harboring a fugitive.
BCSO is not releasing the names of the two deputies involved in the shooting, but has said one is a three-year department veteran and the other is a rookie. Both are paid administrative leave per policy while an investigation into the shooting is completed.
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