ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –The Albuquerque Police Department is investigating a second homicide at a northwest Albuquerque massage business in a matter of weeks. The first one happened about three weeks ago, the victim’s significant other said he was ‘devastated’ to learn it happened again this week.
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“I’m hoping this doesn’t happen to anybody but I was especially hoping that it didn’t involve a massage business and unfortunately it did,” said Rod Honstein.
Officials say around 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday, officers were dispatched to the Canna Spa Massage near Coors Blvd. and Fortuna Rd. for a possible robbery. Police previously said there has been a string of robberies at these massage businesses around the metro in the last few months.
In January, two men tried to rob the Wonderful Massage on Menaul near San Pedro, when owner, Sihui Fang, ended up dead after a gunfight with the suspects.
On Wednesday, KRQE asked APD Police Chief Harold Medina why these businesses are targeted and he said they often have a lot of cash on hand. He also explained why these cases may go underreported a lot of the time.
“In the first case, the Asian community did reach out to us and there were individuals who hadn’t reported to us because they were afraid of immigration status. They were afraid of the fact that they don’t have business licenses,” he said. Honstein said language barriers can also be a hindrance to reporting these violent crimes. still, Chief Medina encourages all violent crimes to be reported.
“I think it’s important that they recognize it doesn’t matter to us their immigration status or that they had a business license. What matters to us is that they report the crime and that we’re able to bring people to justice,” he said.
When they arrived at the scene, they found a woman dead inside the business. APD has not released the victim’s name.
In the case of the Wonderful Massage homicide, two suspects have been arrested. One is scheduled to have his pre-trial detention hearing next week.
Chief Medina says everyone needs to report violent crimes right away. If you recognize the man in the video, call Crime Stoppers.