The uncovering of human remains near the original West Mesa burial site has renewed the murder investigation that’s loomed over Albuquerque for nearly a decade.
The latest discovery may not have happened if it weren’t for the long-promised memorial to the original 11 woman and unborn child in the case.
KRQE News 13 has learned that construction at the nearby West Mesa Memorial Park drove the excavation and uncovering of the new human remains at a nearby city property.
Crews were transplanting excess dirt from a future Anderson Heights neighborhood park to the West Mesa Memorial Park when the remains were found.
“These women helped us to discover another set of remains,” said Albuquerque City Councilor Klarissa Peña.
In an interview with KRQE News 13 Wednesday, Peña said the latest discovery felt connected to the events of 2009.
“It felt as though there was some type of divine intervention,” said Peña.
Albuquerque Police announced the discovery of new human remains on Tuesday, July 3. The bones were found at an empty, city-owned dirt lot at the corner of Beads Street and Cenote Road SW. That’s the site of a future neighborhood park at the center of the Anderson Heights neighborhood.
While crews were working at that Anderson Heights park site, Peña says the work of contractors was actually for the future West Mesa Memorial Park.
Family members related to the 11 murdered women broke ground on the West Mesa Memorial Park in June.
“We just really did not want any more delays,” said Peña
Both parks have been held back for years due to various delays tied to land ownership and funding.
“These two parks have had their own set of issues going along, and this entire time they were important to each other,” said Peña.
Crews have already been dumping some of the Anderson Heights fill dirt at the original West Mesa burial site. KRQE News 13 has learned that police will likely have to go through some of that dirt again.
Police aren’t sure yet who the new remains belong to or if they’re connected to the West Mesa killings.
Peña says she hopes the new discovery can help someone find answers.
“If one more family gets closure, that brought a sense of relief to me,” said Peña
Peña says it’s still unclear how the discovery could affect the Memorial Park site construction, which was expected to complete its first phase of work by the end of the year.
The city had planned on using fill dirt from the Anderson Heights park location instead of buying dirt, which is much most costly.
Crews were out at the West Mesa site Wednesday scanning for buried utility lines Wednesday. APD is expected to begin excavation efforts on Thursday.