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Suspect in 2014 Roswell homicide arrested in ABQ

Matthew Sifuentes (MDC)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Local authorities arrested a man accused of killing a woman in 2014 over an alleged drug debt in Southern New Mexico.

Deputies with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, alongside U.S. Marshals, caught Matthew “Faeo” Sifuentes, 36, in the Albuquerque-area late Wednesday night.

Sifuentes is charged with first degree murder and tampering with evidence in the 2014 death of 31-year-old Jessica Torrez in Roswell.

“The Roswell Police Department’s investigation through the years following the murder led to the arrest warrant being obtained in the past several weeks,” Todd Wildermuth, an RPD spokesman, said.

The year after Torrez’ murder, Sifuentes was arrested at the Mexico border and charged in the May 2015 death of 23-year-old Daniel Herrera, whose body was found “in an unrecognizable state” on the outskirts of Roswell. That case fell apart, and was eventually dismissed, due to lack of evidence.

“Sifuentes remains a suspect in the Torrez homicide” but has not been charged, Wildermuth told a Journal reporter at the time. “Our investigators are hopeful that we might nail down more information that could lead to a arrest in the Torrez case.”

According to a criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court:

On the morning of May 1, Roswell police discovered Torrez’ body on the floor of her home surrounded by shell casings. Friends and relatives told officers Torrez had lost her kids to the state and fallen on hard times, using drugs.

Detectives found Sifuentes’ belongings, with his moniker “Faeo” on them, around Torrez’ room. They traced the shell casings to a local gun store and the workers picked Sifuentes out of a photo array as the man who bought them.

A gun seized from Sifuentes was sent to the lab for comparison against the shell casings as detectives interviewed acquaintances that said Sifuentes talked about how he “killed a (expletive) because she had disrespected him.”

Detectives say the investigation into the Torrez homicide went on for quite some time before the case “went cold.” Although Sifuentes was a suspect early on, police felt they did not have enough to charge him at that time.

In 2018, new information came to light when a woman told a detective Sifuentes told her he shot Torrez several times over a drug debt she owed. At the time Sifuentes was already serving a 46 month sentence in a federal prison on firearms charges and police decided that the arrest warrant would be obtained closer to his release date.

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