‘Dateline’ to spotlight 2003 Las Cruces murder

Jayann and Dave Sepich sit with Josh Mankiewicz during “Dateline NBC.” (Courtesy of Dateline NBC)

“Dateline NBC” will revisit the 2003 rape and murder of New Mexico State University graduate student Katie Sepich.

The episode, titled “The Woman Who Couldn’t Scream,” airs at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21.

According to NBC, the episode tells the story of two women who call 911 after hearing someone break into their apartment. Little do they know, their call for help holds the key to solving the mysterious murder of Sepich.

The two-hour broadcast features interviews with key players in the case, including Katie’s parents, Jayann and David Sepich, former Las Cruces police detective Mark Myers and retired Capt. Robert Jones.

Katie Sepich

NBC’s Josh Mankiewicz is doing the reporting.

In 2003, Katie Sepich, who was 22 and from Carlsbad, was last seen leaving a party for a two-block walk to her home on Las Cruces’ east side. Her body was discovered later that day, Aug. 31, 2003, at the city’s former dump.

Gabriel Avila was not identified as a suspect until mid-December 2006, when his DNA came up as a match to evidence collected from under Sepich’s fingernails and from her body.

Retired LCPD Captain Robert Jones in an episode of “Dateline NBC.” (Courtesy of Dateline NBC)

Avila subsequently confessed that he encountered Sepich as he drove and almost struck her with his truck as she walked home. Avila said he followed Sepich home and approached her as she tried to get into her rented house through a bedroom window. She had left her keys at the party.

Avila was sentenced to 69 years in prison in May 2007.

The case was the impetus for the state law requiring people arrested for certain felonies to provide DNA samples to authorities, known as Katie’s Law.

Share Your Story

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Police looking for missing girl after mom found dead ...
ABQnews Seeker
Police are asking for the public's ... Police are asking for the public's help to locate a 4-year-old who has been missing since her mother was found dead on Thursday in ...
2
At Kirtland AFB, a scramble to enact vaccine policy
ABQnews Seeker
Details still being worked out Details still being worked out
3
Former APD commander gets $550K in whistleblower lawsuit
ABQnews Seeker
Suit alleged retaliation for bringing to ... Suit alleged retaliation for bringing to light problems of police academy with court-mandated reform
4
ABQ teacher is an 'unsung hero'
ABQnews Seeker
Educator won for 'Hydroponic Garden STEM ... Educator won for 'Hydroponic Garden STEM Project' that teaches genetics, chemistry and alternative energy sources
5
Man accused of sexually assaulting girls during sleepover
ABQnews Seeker
One girl told deputies that the ... One girl told deputies that the abuse made her feel 'sad and scared'
6
Man charged in 10 West Side armed robberies
ABQnews Seeker
The 21-year-old, who admits he takes ... The 21-year-old, who admits he takes drugs, has been arrested multiple times since 2019
7
Vaccination rate in NM inches close to 70%
ABQnews Seeker
State reports 13 deaths, 762 new ... State reports 13 deaths, 762 new cases
8
New map may see Rio Rancho, West Side add ...
ABQnews Seeker
Sandoval County's population jumped 13.1% in ... Sandoval County's population jumped 13.1% in 2020 census
9
Bernalillo County won't require worker shots
ABQnews Seeker
Concerns public safety workers resistent to ... Concerns public safety workers resistent to COVID vaccine might retire early