Witness to Althea Oakeley murder speaks out following confession of suspect

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A witness from a high-profile Albuquerque cold case is speaking out. She tried to help Althea Oakeley the night she was stabbed. Now also sharing her thoughts of this case being solved 30 years after the crime.

Convicted felon Paul Apodaca, 53, recently confessed to killing Althea Oakeley. The murder happened in June 1988, which still haunts one woman who tried to help Oakeley. 

“It was a lot of blood and like I said it’s been so long,” said one woman who wanted to remain anonymous, who witnessed the murder. “But I remember she didn’t want to die and she collapsed right there (in front of her home).” 

The witness said she lives near the corner of Buena Vista and Kathryn and said she ran out of her home the night of June 22, 1988, to Oakeley screaming for help with stab wounds. The witness said she called 911 and Oakeley was taken to the hospital where she died. Fast forward to last month when police said Apodaca was arrested for violating his probation.

Police said he told them that he was responsible for several murders and rapes in the 80s and 90s, including Oakeley’s murder. He told police he was working as a security aide at TVI, which is now CNM, and saw her walking away from a fraternity party and followed her down Buena Vista. Apodaca said he was planning to rape her near the Lobo Parking Lot along Buena Vista, but stabbed her multiple times instead.

The witness said she didn’t get a good look at Apodaca’s face that night when he fled the scene but is relieved he’s finally caught. “I’m glad that they found him and I hope they give him life,” the witness said. “Because she didn’t deserve that.”

According to the criminal complaint, Apodaca told police he grew up in the neighborhood where the murder took place. He also told police he had developed a hatred for women.

Police revealed Tuesday, that Apodaca also confessed to the murder of 18-year old Kaitlyn Arquette in 1989. They also said he admitted to killing another woman. But didn’t release her identity. Police said Apodaca also confessed to committing three rapes during the ’80s and ’90s. He is expected in court on Thursday for a pretrial detention hearing.

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