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Santa Fe man charged with murder

The GreenTree Inn on Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe, which is housing homeless people during the pandemic, was the site of a homicide being investigated by SFPD. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – A Santa Fe man is facing a murder charge after police found a body in a hotel bathtub Monday night.

Alvin Crespin, 45, formerly of Santo Domingo Pueblo, is charged with first-degree murder and three counts of tampering with evidence. According to a criminal complaint, Santa Fe police conducting a welfare check found a man’s body wrapped in sheets and left in a bathtub in one of the rooms at the GreenTree Inn on Cerrillos Road. The city of Santa Fe has been using the hotel as a homeless shelter in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

According to the criminal complaint, the room had been rented to Crespin, but was paid for by the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness.

The criminal complaint states that police found the decaying body partially submerged in the bathtub. The man, believed to be of Native American or Hispanic descent, had several lacerations and puncture wounds to his hip, abdomen, chest and neck. Police suspect he may have been dead for four days, based on interviews with witnesses.

Blood was found throughout the room, including on a mattress, box spring and under the bed. Drug paraphernalia, such as glass pipes and tubes, was also found.

The police investigation has so far determined that Crespin checked into the hotel Dec. 30 and was due to check out Tuesday.

A witness who visited Crespin in his hotel room told police he noticed an odd smell coming from the bathroom. He went into the bathroom and saw the body in the bathtub. The witness later contacted law enforcement, according to the complaint.

A woman staying next door told detectives that she heard a “rumbling” in the room during the early morning hours of Jan. 1, but assumed it was a New Year’s party that had gotten loud. She said she saw two men and a woman enter the room.

Capt. Anthony Tapia of the Santa Fe Police Department said the case remains an active investigation and detectives are working to identify the murder victim. He said Crespin had a history with the police department.

A court records search showed Crespin has a criminal history spanning from 1993 to 2016, with charges varying from unlawful taking of a motor vehicle to possession of a controlled substance.

Hank Hughes, executive director of the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness, said the coalition tries to house the most vulnerable people. He said it doesn’t check criminal histories and tries to help people avoid a return to criminal behavior by giving them a place to stay.