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Autopsy: Former Steins Ghost Town Proprietor Died of Gunshots

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LAS CRUCES — A well-known border businessman was killed by five gunshot wounds, an autopsy released this week revealed.

Larry R. Link, the 68-year-old former proprietor of Steins Ghost Town, was found dead by his son around 6 a.m. June 7 on Summit Road, about 140 miles west of Las Cruces.

Link was shot in the heart, the shoulder and the arm, and twice in the back, according to the state Office of the Medical Investigator report, which was unable to determine how far away the gunman would have been.

He also suffered an almost 3-inch laceration to his scalp, abrasions to the nose, elbow and palm, and bruises on his chest and stomach, but the report did not speculate how he might have received those injuries.

It was initially reported that Link had only been shot twice.

In addition to a revolver found next to him, Link — who was found lying next to his truck — was found carrying his keys, chewing tobacco and a bottle of No-Doz caffeine pills.

His wife last saw him three and a half hours before his body was found, when he was watching television.

The case remains unsolved, and New Mexico State Police, which is investigating the case with U.S. Border Patrol, has maintained that reports that a trespasser or illegal immigrants were involved are completely speculative. Link’s daughter has also dismissed such reports, saying that illegal immigrants or drug cartel members would have taken her father’s truck — not left it behind.

A Des Moines, Iowa, native, Link and his wife bought the railroad ghost town — 20 miles west of Lordsburg and just a few miles from the Arizona border — in 1988. After 20 years of leading $2.50 tours, telling stories and recounting history for thousands of visitors, but also suffering theft and vandalism from the property, he closed it in 2008.

A toxicology report is still pending completion, according to the OMI.

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Distributed by MCT Information Services

 

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