Mother and daughter found dead in southeast Albuquerque home

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Police are investigating a double homicide at a residence in Southeast Albuquerque where the victims are a mother and daughter. The mother worked for the Public Defender’s Office for more than two decades.

The Public Defender’s Office sent out a statement confirming that 58-year-old Laura Hanish and her 19-year-old daughter, Shanta, were the two people killed Friday in what is typically a very quiet and peaceful neighborhood.

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” a neighbor said. “We just have petty stuff occasionally, like sometimes things are stolen, but not like murder and things like that as far as I know.”

The scene was still active Friday evening. Police have been on site since about 9 a.m. and say someone came to the home on the 2900 block of Monterey near UNM to check on Laura who failed to show up to work, and when they got there, found the two bodies inside the home.

The Public Defender’s Office says Laura was a social worker there for 24 years and was set to retire this year. Shanta was a University of New Mexico student studying education.

Meanwhile, police continue to be tight-lipped about the investigation. “What we’ll do now is a homicide canvas, talking to the people on the streets and get into the investigation of who these people were,” APD Officer Simon Drobik said.

KRQE News 13 talked with one of Laura’s friends who came out to the scene, very emotional. She says she watched the details unfolding on the news and wanted to come down to see it for herself.

Laura Hanish worked as a mitigation specialist with the Public Defender’s Office. She worked with defendants to help them through the sentencing process.

She was part of the defense team for Nathaniel Jouett, the teen who shot and killed two librarians and injured four other people inside the Clovis library in 2017.

The Public Defender’s Office says she would not want the person who did this to be demonized. If she was still here, Laura would sit next to and listen to that person with her tender heart until her last breath.

To read the entire statement, see below:

On behalf of Laura Hanish’s devastated LOPD family, we want to share our grief with her surviving family and the hundreds of people she’s healed and loved over her life of fearless, graceful, and powerful service.
Laura had been with LOPD as a social worker for 24 years and was set to retire this year and travel to Europe. Her daughter, Shanta, was the light of her life and was just settling into her final years at UNM where she was studying education.  The two shared everything and were so close, the kind of relationship a parent hopes to have with their child as they grow older. 
Laura leaves behind hundreds of clients whose hearts and lives she tended with authentic compassion, treating each person with true love despite their mistakes. She took the time to find each person’s good and love them for it.  She made the world a better place through her work, through her community at church and through her seemingly endless kindness. She leaves behind a world of friends and colleagues who cannot believe the heart and soul of their work is gone. She will be deeply, deeply missed.

We are certain beyond a doubt that she would not want the person who did this to her and Shonte to be demonized. We know that if she were here, she would sit next to and listen to that person with her tender heart wide open until her last breath. 
Her parents and brother and sister are reeling in the wake of the news of Laura and Shanta’s death. They are asking for privacy.
Arrangements are pending.

New Mexico Law Offices of the Public Defender

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