ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Jackie Vigil’s family says they were surprised by Wednesday’s announcement. Her daughter-in-law says Vigil would be alive if the suspected killer had stopped from entering the U.S. illegally again. She wants to know if the Albuquerque Police Department has had a suspect for months, why did it take so long to go public?

“I’m afraid to leave my driveway everyday. I don’t feel safe in my own home because where she felt she was the safest, is where her life was taken,” said Chanda Vigil.

Chanda says even with a suspect names nothing will ever be the same since the murder of her mother-in-law in November. “Unfortunately, I found out when everybody else did,” Chanda said. She says the family learned Luis Talamantes-Romero was named as the main suspect on the news Wednesday.

“It would have been nice. It would have been really nice to hear from somebody else because it sucks to hear it from a source everybody else is hearing it from,” Chanda said when asked if an officer should have come to the family first before going public.

Chanda also questions if APD has a suspect for months, why did it take so long to go public? “If they had that information, they were just sitting on it,” she said.

Wednesday night APD said they weren’t informed by the U.S. Attorney they were filing the case and were protecting the integrity of the investigation to bring justice to the family. Chanda praises President Trump for sending help.

Just last month, the president hosted the Vigil family in the White House as part of Operation Legend promising federal agents would solve her murder. It is not clear why he made that declaration as APD says the case was already solved.

“I just feel for all the other victims. Our family is super blessed to have those extra resources,” Chanda said. Chanda is furious Talamantes-Romero was deported in September 2019 and was able to illegally return to the U.S. “Her murder was on November 19th, so had he not been allowed back, she may still be alive,” she said.

Related Coverage: