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Resident found dead in front of South Valley home

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bernalillo County sheriff’s detectives are investigating after they say a man was found dead of “significant injuries” in front of his South Valley home Sunday evening.

Homicide Sgt. John Allen said that around 5 p.m. Sunday, multiple people called about a “down-and-out male subject” at a house in the 4500 block of Grace Vigil SW, south of Dennis Chavez near Unser SW. He said that when deputies got there, they found the man who lived in the house, 46-year-old Johnny Armijo, dead in the yard.

“Due to the circumstances and evidence at the scene, homicide detectives were dispatched to the scene for a suspicious death,” Allen told a news conference Monday.

Allen did not say how Armijo died and said officials are waiting on the results of an autopsy report.

He said they don’t have any witnesses identified yet, but some family members were at the home and were among those who had called 911 to report Armijo’s death. He said officials don’t know whether Armijo was killed during a robbery, whether he was targeted or whether he was killed at random. They don’t have any suspects.

“We are asking for the public’s help in regard to this investigation and those individuals who have possible information in relation to Mr. Armijo’s death,” Allen said. “One or more unidentified suspects are out there in our community, and it is imperative that we remove them from our streets.”

Allen said Armijo was a superintendent for the Valley Fence Co. and had gone to Magdalena for his job earlier in the day on Sunday.

“We don’t believe that he brought anybody back with him, that he was by himself, but that could be significant at a later point,” Allen said. “At this point, everything is significant to us – that way we need any types of leads to follow through with.”

Detectives returned to the two-story brick home on Grace Vigil on Monday afternoon and could be seen looking through the yard, woodpile and animal enclosures. Family members who were feeding their cows said they did not want to talk about Armijo or what happened. A wrought-iron gate door in the fence was stamped, “Keep out.”

This is the sixth homicide in an unincorporated area of the county this year. The city of Albuquerque has had 72 homicides in 2017, the highest number in recent history.