Family of dead Santa Fe County woman says boyfriend murdered her


SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A Santa Fe County woman, allegedly murdered in her own home, and the suspect is still on the run. Now, that woman’s family is speaking out in hopes of catching the person they say is responsible for her death.

“Nobody ever even saw any signs or any of it coming. It’s devastating,” says Jessica Vigil. Vigil says her mom, Kathleen Jaramillo, was only 58-years old when her life was unexpectedly cut short. “Yesterday, we learned that my mom was murdered from [sic] a man that she was living, that was living in her home,” she says.

Vigil says an anonymous man called the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday morning about an “incident” involving her mother at her home near Santa Fe. The sheriff’s office confirmed the victim’s identity as Kathleen Jaramillo on Monday.

Vigil believes it was Leonard Kieren who made the call. He’s Vigil’s mother’s new boyfriend, who had been living with her since April.

“I don’t know what really led up to it. We suspect that maybe she was trying to break it off with him, and it turned into a rage. We don’t really know,” Vigil says.

When Santa Fe County Sheriff’s deputies got to the house, Kieren was long gone. “He is on the run and suspected to be in Arizona,” Vigil says.

Now, deputies are looking for him and believe he’s in a white Dodge pickup truck. “She was starting a new life and she just wanted happiness and to be happy. She didn’t deserve this at all,” Vigil says.

While Vigil says she’s never met Kieren, she says she wants him to know that he’s a coward for what he did. “I don’t even know how you could do something to somebody like this. Somebody that loved you and took you in,” she says.

She hopes her mother can hear her last cry. “I love you so much and I miss you so so much,” Vigil says through her tears.

The family plans on creating a fundraiser to help pay for funeral costs. The family also plans on holding a candlelight vigil in front of Jaramillo’s home on Tuesday night.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office issued a news release on Monday, Nov. 23 seeking the whereabouts of Leonard Francis Kieren. SFCSO reports that around 7 a.m. on Nov. 21, a 911 call was placed by a male caller reporting the death of Kathleen Jaramillo who he claimed was his girlfriend.

The caller reportedly indicated he shot the victim but did not identify himself. Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the residence to find Kathleen Jaramillo deceased.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office says this is an ongoing investigation and a law enforcement bulletin has been issued by the sheriff’s office to locate the suspect who authorities believe fled to Arizona. Kieren was last seen driving a white 2004 Dodge Dully pick up with an Arizona license plate CFT9569.

Deputies say the truck may be towing a fifth-wheel camper or trailer that has an unknown make or model. Anyone with information regarding the location of Kieren is asked to contact the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office at 505-428-3720. The suspect is considered to be armed and dangerous.

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