BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) - Four teenagers, one just 15, have been charged with the murder of a woman found beaten to death in her Rio Communities apartment Monday.
Investigators say Melachi Coleman, 15, Terone Collins, 16, Jonathan Duncan, 17, and Juan Diego Lopez 18, attacked Joanne Quintana late Sunday night or early Monday morning after they discovered Quintana, 41, had taken their beer.
Detectives with the Valencia County Sheriff's Department say Coleman and Duncan are brothers and their mother lives a few doors down from Quintana. Investigators believe the teens used their hands and feet to beat Quintana until she was dead.
"Her lower body all the way up to her head, she had marks all over her body," Lt. Jeff Noah said.
Friends of Quintana are trying to cope with her death and at the same time understand how kids so young could commit such a violent crime. They say Quintana did have a troubled past and a strained relationship with her 13-year-old daughter but had been working hard in recent months to turn her life around.
Friend Donnamarie Newkirk says Quintana had joined the Belen Baptist Church and spent time helping church members and their families. Newkirk says she and fellow church members will work toward forgiveness of the teens, but it won't be easy.
"You have to remember these are children, too," Newkirk says. "Something seriously wrong has been going on for these children.
"Somehow we have to forgive them, but I can't say I am there right now."
Services for Quintana are set for Monday.
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