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3 victims in recent death inquiries ID’d

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police have now publicly identified all people whose deaths have been reported as homicides this year.

However, Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman, said one of the recent cases might not be a homicide and is being investigated as suspicious.

In that case, 33-year-old Cassandra Church was found with a fatal gunshot wound on Feb. 22, after officers responded to the 1500 block of Second SW, near Avenida Cesar Chavez. At the time, they detained a man for questioning, but no one was charged.

On Thursday, in response to numerous questions to both APD spokesmen, Gallegos released the names of Church and the two other victims whose identities hadn’t been provided to the public. No arrests have been made in the three cases.

The two are 22-year-old Keanu Norman, shot and killed at Cardwell Park, near Carlisle and Comanche NE, on Feb. 20, and Ujasiri McDonald, 42, shot and killed at the Jefferson Crossing apartment complex, on Montgomery NE, on March 2.

Gallegos said the homicide sergeant told him that the next of kin of all the victims had been notified, but he didn’t say why in some cases more than two weeks had passed without police answering questions about the cases.

The investigations join three other cases since the beginning of the year in which no arrests have been made.

But arrests have been made in four other cases, including a man who was charged last month with two counts of murder in the slaying of a retired lawyer and a woman who was renting a room from him.

APD has reported 10 homicides so far in 2018, a number that is on track with last year, when there had also been 10 in the same time frame. Last year ended with 75 homicides, a record high in recent history.