Colleagues grieve Albuquerque social worker found murdered in her home

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Colleagues of the Albuquerque social worker killed in a double murder remember her as someone who always found the good in people.

“People who had been involved and did terrible things, she could still find a way to find out their humanity in addition to these terrible things, and that’s a real gift,” said Jeff Rein from the Public Defender’s Office.

Laura Hanish worked with the Public Defender’s Office handling some of the most difficult cases involving deeply disturbed and often juvenile defendants. Last week, she and her daughter, Shanta, were killed in their home near Coal and Washington.

Police say Jesus Cartagena killed them after Hanish’s daughter broke up with him. Laura Hanish’s coworkers believe she would want Cartagena treated like any other defendant.

“She would not want this particular person to be demonized. She would want this person to go through the process, to have a vigorous defense,” Rein said.

Coworkers say Laura was also deeply committed to her family and friends, and regularly volunteered helping the homeless.

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