Suspects named in New Mexico woman’s murder nearly a decade later


LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico family has been waiting nearly 10 years for answers to their daughter’s murder. Now the man they believe did it all along has been named her killer and his suspected accomplice is still on the loose.

Cindy Rivera’s family says now that suspects have finally been named in her death, they are just hoping to find her body. “We have not given up in this 10 years at all,” says her dad, Jesse Rivera. Now Cindy Rivera’s family is finally getting answers about her 2012 disappearance.

Friday, the San Miguel County district attorney’s office put out an arrest warrant for 38-year-old Anselmo Ortiz in connection to her death. The warrant gives some insight into how they say Ortiz and Rivera’s ex-husband Christopher Trujillo kidnapped and killed the 19-year-old. “They are inhumane, they’re monsters,” says her sister, Angela Lujan.

Rivera’s mother told investigators on a late June night back in 2012 Rivera called her saying Trujillo and Ortiz were at her Las Vegas home. she said she could hear Trujillo yelling in the background. Rivera’s family says they’ve suspected Trujillo since day one. “They kept telling me several times he is not a suspect and I’m like the whole town knows except you,” says Jesse Rivera.

Cell phone records show the men were in the same vicinity as Rivera around the time she vanished. Court documents showing details gathered in the investigation over the past couple of months say the men got help from family members to shower and burned their bloody clothes.

The next morning, investigators say Trujlllo told his brother “I killed Cindy and we (Anselmo) buried her.”

“We eventually felt like the bad guys at some point – they feel like they got away with it and we never gave up,” Angela Lujan says.

The men were never officially named as suspects in the case. But apparently this year, Ortiz and Trujillo had a falling out. Trujillo accused Ortiz of stealing from him and heard that Ortiz was talking to investigators about Rivera’s murder. Ortiz also thought Trujillo would come after his family. But Trujillo killed himself in May at his home. At that scene, investigators found a recorded phone call where Trujillo admitted to killing Rivera and saying he planned to pin it on Ortiz.

The family says they are worried Ortiz, who’s charged with the kidnapping, will slip through the cracks. “That’s our biggest fear right now is, now that he’s aware that he’s wanted that he’ll run,” Angela Lujan says. 

And they say they are desperate to know where she’s buried so they can have closure. “She’s a mother, she’s a daughter she means the world to us. We’d love to find her,” Angela Lujan says.

In the arrest warrant, police also say Ortiz wanted money or a promise that he wouldn’t be charged in the case if they wanted to know where Rivera was buried. The arrest warrant also stated that Ortiz said he would have a shootout with law enforcement, taking out as many officers as he can, if they come after him.

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