‘After that, our family was broken’: Kaitlyn Arquette’s sister reacts to murder confession

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Paul Apodaca said he shot and killed 18-year-old Kaitlyn Arquette more than 30 years ago. Wednesday, Kaitlyn’s sister spoke out about the case, how police handled it and how it forever changed her family. While Kerry Arquette believes Apodaca will be charged for her sister’s murder, she said she still has a lot of unanswered questions.


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Kaitlyn’s death shattered her family. “When Paul Apodaca shot my sister, he murdered my family,” Kerry said.

Kaitlyn was the youngest of five children. Her older sister, Kerry, said the murder caused the family to grow apart. “After that, our family was broken,” Kerry said.

More than three decades later, Apodaca confessed to shooting Kaitlyn in the head in her car on Lomas near Broadway back in 1989. Kerry said she got the call from the police a couple of weeks ago. “To have this solution come out of the blue was utterly unexpected and fabulous,” Kerry said.

It comes after their mother, author Lois Duncan, wrote books on her daughter’s murder, was featured on unsolved mysteries and blogged every detail of the case including that Apodaca was at the scene of her daughter’s murder. Kerry said they always believed he had something to do with it. She said her mother always said she wouldn’t die until she got justice for Kaitlyn, but Duncan passed away in 2016. “She is here, and she is looking down,” Kerry said. “A lot of people have told me they had been feeling her presence very strongly in the days prior to me being contacted.”

Kerry is critical of the Albuquerque Police Department for never questioning Apodaca and letting him walk away from the crime scene. “It is only solved because somebody stepped forward and confessed,” Kerry said. “That had nothing to do with the police investigation or lack of investigation over the years.”

APD Chief Harold Medina said they can’t answer to what detectives did all those years ago, but Medina said APD never gave up on the case. “There is a level of frustration from families out there,” Medina said. “A lot of times, through that frustration, it makes for a long journey. They have done what they can to move this case forward and bring some answers. Hopefully, this will help the family with that.”

While Kerry said she is thankful Kaitlyn is getting justice, she still has many questions. “Why?” Kerry asked. “Why did he murder my little sister?”

Apodaca has also admitted to two other murders and three rapes. Police believe the attacks were random and possibly fueled by a dislike for women. He has not been charged with Arquette’s murder as detectives work to verify his story.

Kerry is a criminologist in Denver. She said she got into the profession largely due to her sister’s death.

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