APD investigates after human remains found on West Mesa


Crews building a park in the middle of a neighborhood uncovered bones Tuesday. 

It’s just a quarter-mile away from the burial site of the West Mesa murder victims.

Albuquerque Police say they’re treating the area as a crime scene and will have an officer out there for the next few days. 

In the meantime, they can’t continue to dig until they get the “ok” from the utility companies. 

KRQE News 13 also spoke to the family of one of the West Mesa murder victims, who says when they heard the news it took them back to 10 years ago.

In 2009, a woman walking her dog near Tuesday’s scene at 118th Street and Dennis Chavez, found a bone. That led to the discovery of 11 women, one of whom was pregnant. 

The lead investigator in the case is now APD’s police chief, and he says he’s not ruling out there may be a connection. 

“We’re not 100 percent sure that it’s related, but we’re treating it as if it’s similar to the first round when we found the first bone way back at that time,” Chief Mike Geier said. 

To this day, police have never made any arrests in the case, and according to APD there are still another six women who went missing and were never found. 

“It makes my heart pound but we just have to put it in God’s hands,” said Julie Gonzales. 

Gonzales is the sister of one of the 11, Doreen Marquez. She says hearing the news Tuesday only makes her relive the heartbreak. 

“It just brings it all back. Back to day one. Ten years later, back to day one. The digging, the finding, the scraping. It’s just like, ‘wow,'” Gonzales said. 

Meanwhile, people whose homes surround the burial site knew one day police would find bodies. 

“The eeriest part to me is to know it’s taken this long,” said a neighbor. 

APD says in the next few days they will also start to review satellite imaging of the land where the body was found — just like they did nearly 10 years ago with the first burial site. 

While police have not arrested anyone, there are two prime suspects in the case — Lorenzo Montoya and Joseph Blea. 

Montoya strangled a prostitute at his home, then was shot to death by the woman’s pimp. The murders stopped after he was killed. 

Blea, a serial rapist, was sentenced to 90 years in prison after DNA linked him to attacks on middle school girls in the 80s and 90s. 

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