SANTA FE, N.M. — A popular local singer and her husband were found shot to death in downtown Santa Fe around midday Thursday.
Police identified them as Ernestine Saucedo, 32 — who sings in the Tejano style under her maiden name, Ernestine Romero, and whose birthday was Wednesday — and Jessie Saucedo, 34.
Santa Fe Police Chief Andrew Padilla, at an afternoon news conference, would not confirm that the case was a murder-suicide, but he said no suspect was currently being sought by police.
“The incident remains under active investigation as Detectives continue to determine what led up to this tragic incident,” the SFPD said in a later news release. “Based on preliminary information police do not believe a suspect is at large. As additional information becomes available it will be provided.”
The two were married in July 2017 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, after 10 years together, according to a report on the Tejano Nation website.
The police said Ernestine Saucedo was also a state employee. Online state payroll records show she was a financial coordinator for the state Public Education Department.
The two bodies were found in a vehicle in a parking space outside the Jerry Apodaca Education Building, where the PED is headquartered, a block or two north of state Capitol. Officers appeared to focusing on a white SUV.
A state employee found the bodies and called 911 just after noon, governor’s office spokesman Tripp Stelnicki said.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham released a statement about the shooting. “Today we experienced a horrific tragedy in Santa Fe,” she said. “My heart is broken for the family and loved ones of the state employee who was tragically and violently taken from us too soon. I am grateful to Santa Fe law enforcement for their quick response and I want every state employee to know that we are here to support you through this trying time.”
Condolence web postings over Ernestine Romero’s death were mounting by late afternoon, including on the Facebook page of her mother and manager Olivia Romero.
“All i can say is what a horrible loss its like selina al over again….,” said one post.
New Mex Radio posted a video of Romero performing, with the comment, “Words can not describe the loss of Ernestine Romero, such a beautiful person and soul. Her legacy will live on through her music. Heaven gained another angel today.”
Romero’s website identifies her as from Santa Fe and says she won various awards for the at least nine CDs she released, including one called “Gracias Señor.” The CD was named after a duet song she did with two-time Grammy Award winner Ruben Ramos, known as El Gato Negro.
In January 2016, she was awarded “CD of the Year,” “Cumbia Song of the Year” and “Salsa Tropical Song of the Year” at the New Mexico Hispano Music Association Music Awards, the site says.
Her latest album “Mia Tesoro” was released this year.
“Ernestine Romero continues to expand and diversify her music and style, and at the same time staying true to her NM roots; she not only continues to show how her evolution can be a great commodity when it comes to creating new ways to reach people, but also a sign of more things to come,” says the website.