Man arrested for 2016 murder and arson in Portales

Crime

PORTALES, N.M. (KRQE) – A man is now facing charges for a four-year-old murder and arson in Portales. The bodies of John Bustamante and Christina Griffin were found after a house fire in 2016. Police learned both were shot in the head.

The case went cold until earlier this month when a witness came forward to identify 37-year-old Joe Zapata as the shooter. The witness believed they were doing drugs, when Zapata got angry and John Bustamante and Griffin. An arrest warrant state Zapata and the witness returned to the house and lit it on fire to destroy the evidence. Police and sheriff’s deputies tracked Zapata down at a home last week and found him hiding in a crawlspace. Prosecutors are he be locked up until trial.

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