Two people arrested in connection to missing Belen veteran


BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – Belen Police have arrested two people they say could be connected to the disappearance of a missing veteran. They say the couple had a key piece of evidence linking them to his disappearance.

“It’s been sort of frustrating,” says Sandra Miller.

Miller still has no answers as to where her son, Matthew Gurule, could be. The former Marine was last seen leaving Isleta Casino two weeks ago. A few hours later, his car was found burned in the desert near Rio Communities. Miller has been feeling hopeless, until now.

“We have a male by the name of Francisco Gomez in his 30s, and a woman by the name of Jeannine Willard in her mid-40s,” says Lt. Jose Natividad.

Belen Police say they got a tip the couple had taken Gurule’s credit card.

“Seen on surveillance footage at local businesses here in Belen, Dollar General, Little Caesar’s Pizza, where they had been using Mr. Gurule’s, the missing veteran, credit card,” says Lt. Natividad.

Police tracked the couple down to a car wash at 5th and Reinken last night and arrested them without incident. However, police still have not charged them with Gurule’s disappearance.

“Depending on the conditions that he’s in, whether he’s dead or alive, then we will know how to pursue charges from there,” says Lt. Natividad.

Miller was on the scene when officers arrested the duo and say she saw a sign of her son in the suspect’s truck.

“I saw Matthew’s tools. He has a leather tool belt and I’m 99.9% sure that was his,” she says.

While police continue to investigate, Miller says her son will eventually get the justice he deserves.

Right now, Belen Police are waiting for a judge to sign off on a search warrant so they can look for more evidence in the couple’s vehicle. They are currently being held at the Valencia County Detention Center.

The duo has been charged with receiving and transferring a stolen credit card.

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