The chief prosecutor for the Santa Fe area says a man accused of killing a 13-year-old boy who endured years of abuse is dead as a result of what preliminarily appears to have been an apparent suicide.

The horrific details surrounding the death of 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia rocked the state.

Now, the man accused in the teen’s murder has “avoided” being held responsible according to the DA.

Back in January, Valencia’s body was found in a shallow grave in Santa Fe County.

Shocking details emerged about the boy’s murder with investigators saying they believe Jeremiah endured horrendous abuse at the hands of Ferguson, his mother’s boyfriend. 

Ferguson’s son, Jordan Nunez, told investigators Ferguson beat Jeremiah with brass knuckles, a cane, a homemade spear and a five-pound hammer. 

Jeremiah was also forced to wear a diaper while locked up in a dog kennel for hours on end.

Additional evidence suggests Valencia was sexually assaulted and possibly burned. 

Now, Ferguson is dead after committing suicide at the Santa Fe County Detention Center. 

According to the local DA’s Office, Ferguson was alone in a segregated unit with increased patrol.

Officers at the facility conduct inmate welfare checks every 30 minutes, 

“I’m angry that this happened because I don’t believe Ferguson is going to receive the justice my office was going to bring against him to bring justice to Jeremiah,” says Serna.

Nunez and Jeremiah’s mother Tracy Pena are also charged in Jeremiah’s death for allegedly allowing the beating and torture to occur, then helping dispose of the body and covering up the murder.

“My office is going to vigorously prosecute Ms. Pena and Mr. Nunez. They are in custody so we’re going to focus our attention on them,” says Serna. “I wish we could have brought that justice to Jeremiah and his family by convicting Ferguson.”

Family and friends created a memorial for Jeremiah in front of his home. Neighbors say they are still haunted by his horrific death. 

“When you pass through that house I just get chills all over. I even shed a few tears because it’s so so horrible,” says Fern Giron. 

They say they were ready to see Ferguson go to trial. 

“I think it was very cowardly of him. It’s too bad that he ended his own life because what he did was unthinkable and inexcusable,” Giron says.  

The DA’s office says just this week, the State filed an order to transfer Ferguson to the Department of Corrections to serve time for a probation violation.

The violation was for a 2014 domestic violence case in which he was accused of rape.

Ferguson would have gone to prison in just a few days. 

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