Man accused of killing, dismembering his wife - Albuquerque Journal

Man accused of killing, dismembering his wife

Police investigate the scene where a man allegedly killed and dismembered his wife Thursday at a West side home. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

When relatives showed up to the Denio household for a planned Thanksgiving gathering, the West Side home was locked and appeared empty.

Family members took the hinges off a door to get inside Thursday afternoon and found a grisly scene: Karlan Denio lying in bed and his wife, Connie, dismembered on the bedroom floor.

Relatives told police Karlan Denio was diagnosed two years ago with frontotemporal dementia, a disease that can manifest in dramatic personality changes, emotional withdrawal and other mental health issues.

Denio, 62, is now charged with an open count of murder in the death of Connie Denio.

It is unclear if he has an attorney.

The family declined to comment Friday.

Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said Denio is in the hospital recovering from lacerations to his arm and neck.

One family member on Facebook recalled Connie Denio as “Young. Vibrant. Fearless.” The woman wrote in a post, “This is how I will always remember my aunt Connie… Not afraid to climb a tree in a dress.”

The post included a grainy photo of Denio up in a tree, wearing a blue dress and accompanied by two small children in the branches.

Rich Cordova, a neighbor, said he was in disbelief.

“I’m stunned,” he said Friday. “That is unbelievable.”

Cordova said he had lived next to the Denio family for two decades and said it was the family he “would least expect” to have such a tragedy befall them.

He said the couple were pleasant people who often walked together and would always wave hello. Cordova said the couple kept to themselves but were “nice folks” who had two grown children.

He said he had seen people standing outside the home Thursday afternoon but nothing seemed amiss.

Relatives first called 911 asking for police to do a welfare check on the family when they couldn’t get inside the home, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. When dispatch told them police couldn’t force their way in, the relatives took matters into their own hands.

A second 911 call came in sometime Thursday afternoon after relatives got into the home and reported that Karlan Denio had killed his wife at the home in the 10400 block of Vista Del Sol NW, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. Arriving officers detained Denio at the scene and found he had cuts to his leg and neck.

Police said they found his wife “dismembered and disemboweled” in the bedroom.

Police said relatives told them that Connie Denio had arranged for everyone to gather at her home around 1 p.m. Family members said they last heard from her around 5:30 p.m. in a group chat “discussing plans for Thanksgiving.”

Karlan Denio’s brother, who came in from out of town, was the first to arrive at the home and called Denio’s sister when he couldn’t get in, according to the complaint. The siblings knocked on all doors and windows and eventually took the hinges off a door to get in.

Karlan Denio’s sister told police the home was dark and she walked to the bedroom where she found her bother “lying on the bed” and Connie Denio on the floor.

“Karlan looked at her, at which point (she) backed out of the residence and called police again,” according to the complaint.

By Friday morning the neighborhood was quiet.

The home appeared empty and across the street two neighbors put a large Christmas tree up on their balcony. The pair, like many of the neighbors, declined to talk about the Denios or what had transpired the day before.

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