ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a disturbing case that shook the state of New Mexico. Now, new court documents reveal 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia was likely raped and burned before his tragic murder.
Jeremiah’s mother, Tracy Pena, her boyfriend, Thomas Ferguson, and his son, Jordan Nunez, are all charged in the boy’s murder.
Investigators who found the boy’s body buried in a shallow grave on the side of a highway have expressed how bad the conditions were for the teen, but in new search warrant affidavits, more horrific details are emerging.
The documents reference Jeremiah’s autopsy and that his body had lacerations consistent with sexual assault. In addition, they said he “had possibly been burned” and he was found wearing a diaper.
Early in the investigation officials said Jeremiah had been placed in a dog kennel for hours on end without food. Deputies would eventually find that kennel at the home of Jordan Nunez’s cousins.
Deputies also wrote in the affidavits that when they searched the home where Jeremiah lived, they found “blood not visible to the naked eye” in both Jeremiah’s bedroom as well as Ferguson’s.
The warrants go on to say Jeremiah’s sister told deputies Ferguson and Nunez put her brother’s dead boy in a bathtub to clean the blood off of him before disposing of the body back in late November.
Deputies also said they took multiple cellphones as evidence because they believe messages on those phones could reveal that Ferguson was making threats to the other family members to keep the murder a secret for almost two months.
KRQE News 13 reached out to the First Judicial District Attorney Marco Serna to see if they are seeking sexual assault charges. He said they have not yet received confirmation from the Office of the Medical Investigator that Jeremiah was sexually assaulted. However, he said depending on the evidence, more charges could be coming.