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Man Suspected In Both Theft, Murder

SANTA FE, N.M. — Santa Fe police confirmed Saturday that there is a “high probability” that a man linked to a stolen jewelry case was also involved in the West Alameda Street murder of a Santa Fe artist a year ago.

The suspect in the stolen jewelry case, Sam Leyba, is awaiting trial on burglary and evidence tampering charges.

Santa Fe Police Chief Ray Rael said Saturday that “there is a high probability that Leyba was involved” in the murder of Ethaan Boyer, a respected screen printer and digital design artist whose body was found in his home in late February.

But, Rael said, “I can’t say for certain and won’t know for certain” until analysis of DNA evidence from the crime scene is completed by the state crime laboratory.

No one has ever been charged with murder in connection with Boyer’s death. But police did say this week that jewelry found at Leyba’s house when he was arrested after another murder last March belonged to Boyer’s widow.

In July, police confirmed that there was a link between the murder of Boyer and the second murder victim after DNA evidence connected the second victim, David Martinez, to Boyer’s house.

Martinez’s body was found in a west-side park only a few blocks from where Boyer lived. He was killed less than three weeks after the artist’s body was found in his home.

Felix Martinez has been charged with his brother David’s murder, and police reports indicate that he and Leyba had dumped David Martinez’s body in the park.

Leyba was also originally charged with David Martinez’s murder, but those charges were later dropped.

Rael said Saturday that there was also a possibility that all three men — the two Martinez brothers and Leyba — might have been involved somehow in Boyer’s murder.

“But at this point, we can’t know for certain,” Rael said. Police have previously confirmed that Leyba and Felix Martinez were “persons of interest” in the Boyer case, but have stopped short of calling them suspects.