ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The body found in Four Hills on Saturday was that of a decapitated woman, who showed other signs of “massive injuries,” a police spokesman said Tuesday.
Officer Simon Drobik of the Albuquerque Police Department said investigators have identified the woman, but the person’s name won’t be released until her family has been notified.
No other details were provided about the case.
Two Four Hills residents walking their dogs around noon Saturday found the woman’s body in an arroyo behind some homes near Winterwood and Autumnwood SE.
It’s unclear if the woman lived in the neighborhood or if she was homeless, but Drobik said the department is making the case a top priority.
“Detectives are driven to find justice for each and every victim regardless of their stature in our society,” he said.
Mike and Lynne Pingrey, who live within 100 feet of where the body was found, said they didn’t hear or see anything strange the night before the discovery.
“It is weird and it’s kind of freaky,” Lynne Pingrey said.
The Pingreys said the trail where the body was found is often busy as it’s extremely popular with neighbors and hikers.
“You can’t drop a body out here and think nobody is going to find it,” Lynne Pingrey said.
Neighbor John Klafke, who has lived in the area since 1989, said he is surprised the gruesome find happened so close to home.
He said the area has been known to have people who are homeless camping in the foothills and moving through, but he hasn’t seen many lately. Although the area gets a lot of visitors during the day, he said it’s very quiet at night.
“The only thing we hear around here is the coyotes,” Klafke said.
It’s not the first time the city has seen a crime of this nature.
Just over a year ago, on Dec. 17, 2016, a security guard found the decapitated body of 47-year-old Clifford Miller behind the Walmart on Wyoming near Menaul NE.
Friends of Miller, an Oklahoma man, said he moved to Albuquerque and became homeless after falling on hard times.
When found, Miller’s body was naked, missing its head and genitals, with several stab wounds to his back, abdomen and chest.
At the time, police said they didn’t believe Miller was killed at the Walmart, but wouldn’t say where they believe he was slain.
That crime remains unsolved.