SANTA FE, N.M. — Authorities say a 13-year-old boy whose body was found buried in a remote area of northern New Mexico had endured years of abuse that included being locked for hours at a time inside a dog kennel and being fed there.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert Garcia choked back tears Tuesday as he provided more details about a case that state and local authorities described as gruesome and heartbreaking.
Garcia told reporters that the child, identified as Jeremiah Valencia, suffered at “the hands of a monster.”
Investigators built a case over the weekend and on Monday announced the arrests of 42-year-old Thomas Wayne Ferguson, 35-year-old Tracy Ann Pena and 19-year-old Jordan Anthony Nunez in connection with Valencia’s death more than two months ago.
Authorities say Pena, the boy’s mother, is cooperating and the investigation is ongoing.