ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A serial killer who has confessed to multiple cold case murders has now been charged with a second one. The Albuquerque Police Department says Paul Apodaca confessed to the cold case murders of Althea Oakley and Kaitlyn Arquette. He also admitted to killing another girl around the same time, Stella Gonzales, who was just 13-years-old. A grand jury indicted him for that murder this week.
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“She was found shot to death near Tingley Beach on September 9, 1988, while walking with a friend around one in the morning,” said Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock, with APD.
Police say Apodaca confessed to driving by the girls and shooting at them. Stella Gonzales was killed. Apodaca came forward in July confessing to other murders in the late ’80s including the stabbing death of 21-year-old UNM student Althea Oakley, who was walking home from a party, and to the high-profile murder of Kaitlyn Arquette in 1989. She was driving downtown when she was shot to death behind the wheel.
“Mr. Apodaca, when he admitted to the murders of Ms. Arquette and Ms. Oakley stated he had also shot another girl that had died but did not remember a lot of the particulars of her name but did tell us approximately what happened and how he did it,” said Hartsock.
Cold case detectives connected Apodaca to Gonzales’ murder through evidence and talking to the girl’s family. Until this week, Apodaca has only been charged with Oakley’s death.
Now, he has been indicted for Gonzales’ death and more charges are to come. “Paul Apodaca is a serial killer in our view and he picked his victims seemingly at random but they all shared one trait, they were women. They were women in vulnerable circumstances at the time who were seemingly alone and that was his only reason was that opportunity and his own perceived hatred of females at the time,” Hartsock said.
Apodaca is expected to be arraigned on the murder of Stella Gonzales on Monday. He has yet to be officially charged for Arquette’s murder.