Sheriff Villanueva’s chances for second term dwindle as Luna’s lead holds strong
As Luna County Sheriff’s Office deputy and deputy chief of internal investigations John Villanueva looks over the evidence collected during the search for a teenage girl missing for almost three weeks, he shakes his head.
“That’s what I call the scariest part of it,” he said. “That girl is dead, and her body was mutilated.”
That’s the conclusion of the investigation into the discovery of the girl’s body in a shallow grave in a wooded area of the rural area of La Jara, about 18 miles outside of the La Jara Town limits.
Investigators are trying to figure out where the girl’s killer buried the body in order to “recreate” her crime scene and avoid being charged with a crime.
They are not sure if the girl had gone missing intentionally or accidentally.
Villanueva and other investigators have spent the past week using dogs to search a wooded area near the La Jara Golf Club. They also searched four other locations nearby.
They found the body about 2 p.m. on Monday, June 17, in a shallow grave in a wooded area about five miles from the golf course.
Villanueva, who was called to the scene Monday, told investigators that the body looked like an 11-year-old girl they had seen in the past, or one who was just a few months old.
The girl’s decomposition, and the fact that the body did not have any clothing on the upper body, led investigators to believe she was about 5’2-in. tall, with dark brown hair braided into a single braid.
They also said she weighed about 70 lbs. in her decomposition.
The remains were badly decomposed, with several bones sticking up from the ground. The body also had a large bruise on the forehead.
Villanueva said the girl’s clothes were “scattered” around the grave, as if she had been tossed in it and then