Thursday’s Top Stories

Thursday’s Five Facts

[1] Suspect accused of murdering Muslim men makes first appearance in court – Muhammad Syed, the man accused in two murders of Muslim men is set to face a judge Monday after making his initial court appearance Wednesday. Prosecutors say releasing Syed until trial would put the community in danger. Syed is accused in the murders of Aftab Hussain and Muhammad Afzaal. According to court filings, Syed hid in the bushes and fired 13 rounds at Hussain. Then on August 1, investigators say Syed shot Afzaal, who was taking a walk near his UNM-area apartment. Investigators are still working to determine if Syed was behind the murders of two other Muslim men.

[2] Police search for motive as community grapples with murder of Muslim men – Police are still trying to figure out the motive behind the slayings of four Muslim men, as Muhammad Syed sits in jail charged for two of the murders. The president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico says while he is relieved the gunman was not affiliated with a hate group, he says he is disappointed the prime suspect is part of their community. APD is still investigating a possible motive to the crimes.

[3] Morning storms and a drier afternoon – Rain and thunderstorms are spinning through southeast New Mexico this morning, prompting flood advisories for Chaves, De Baca and Roosevelt counties. Minor flooding will be possible over roads, arroyos, small streams, and low-lying areas. The Gila and lower Rio Grande Valley are also seeing showers and thunderstorms. Isolated storms will be possible in the middle Rio Grande Valley and northern mountains. Skies will stay mostly dry in the Four Corners, northeast highlands and east plains.

[4] The “Upham Girl” has been identified 37 years later – The mystery of a girl found dead in southern New Mexico is finally uncovered. For 37 years, Dorothy Harrison was known only as the “Upham Girl”, after her body was found in a shallow grave by rabbit hunters near Upham in southern New Mexico. Investigators now know she left her home in Wichita, Kansas in 1984, with two women her family didn’t know. They say she called her family to tell them she was in Los Angeles, weeks later she called to say she was in El Paso and on her way back to Kansas. A year later, in 1985, her body was found in New Mexico. New technology allowed investigators to take DNA from the femur bone, which identified her.

[5] ABQ Biopark working to conserve endangered butterfly – The Biopark is helping conserve a butterfly species only found in New Mexico’s Sacramento Mountains. Due to habitat loss, the checkerspot butterfly is one of the most endangered butterflies in the United States. The Biopark Society is working to restore its habitat by planting New Mexico Beardtongue which the butterfly relies on. The Biopark separately collected two female and male butterflies. They have since produced hundreds of eggs which have resulted in about 150 caterpillars. The Biopark says they could have adult butterflies by June or July of next year.