Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

Man wrapped dead woman in plastic, went to dinner

 CRANE: Accused of leaving woman's body in house for hours

CRANE: Accused of leaving woman’s body in house for hours

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Albuquerque drug dealer who woke to find a woman dead in his house wrapped her in a blanket and clear plastic and left her there for hours while he went to eat dinner with his family, police say.

He later coerced one of his friends to help him dump the body of 31-year-old Cheyenne Cantrell, whose cause of death hasn’t been determined, in an abandoned field behind a local roller rink, police allege.

Eugene R. Crane, 31, who also goes by “Jay,” “JD,” “Gene,” “Blanco Diablo” and “The Boogie Man,” has been arrested in connection with the death. But he isn’t accused of killing Cantrell. He’s charged with kidnapping, tampering with evidence and conspiracy.

Cantrell had track marks on her arm “consistent with heroin use or intravenous drug use,”when her body was found, according to court records. Homicide detectives are waiting for the results of a toxicology report to officially determine how she died. That could take months, said Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman Celina Espinoza.

If police find foul play was a factor, Crane could face more charges, Espinoza said. He is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center on a $250,000 cash-only bail as well as a no-bond hold in a different case.

“We know how to find him; he’s not on the streets,” she said. He refused to be interviewed when he was arrested, she said.

A family visiting the Roller Skate City near Juan Tabo and Interstate 40 on March 14 spotted Cantrell’s body, and police were called. An informant led authorities to a woman named Cherish Hoggan, who investigators initially called a person of interest in the death.

Cherish Hoggan, 25.

Cherish Hoggan, 25.

Hoggan was arrested and booked into jail March 18 on charges of tampering with evidence and conspiracy for allegedly helping to move Cantrell’s body.

Hoggan told police she was with Cantrell the day before she died. She said Cantrell beat up another woman in Crane’s car, and she helped Cantrell clean up the blood. The two smoked marijuana and Cantrell said she wanted to inject heroin. Hoggan said she fell asleep at Crane’s house and didn’t see Cantrell inject, according to the complaint.

When Hoggan and Crane woke up the next morning, they found Cantrell dead. Hoggan told him to call 911, but he refused, saying there was too much heroin and too many guns in the house, according to the complaint.

Hoggan told police that Crane asked her to help him wrap Cantrell’s body in clear plastic and a blanket, and then left the house for dinner with his family. She said Crane told her she had to stay with the body and threatened her. When Crane got home around midnight, the house was beginning to smell, Hoggan said.

Around 3 a.m., Crane said his son was coming to visit in the afternoon and told Hoggan that she had to help him move the body. They wore latex gloves and dragged Cantrell’s body into the back seat of Crane’s car, then drove to the roller rink, police say. Crane cut the plastic wrap off Cantrell’s body and left her in the field, according to the complaint.

They burned the plastic wrap, blanket and gloves in a Dumpster near University and Gold SE, police say.

When police interviewed Hoggan, she told them that she believed Crane had a “hit out on her,” according to the complaint. He has been charged with violent felonies in the past, and has two pending cases – one misdemeanor shoplifting charge and one felony drug possession charge. He has been found guilty of possessing drugs with intent to distribute and driving while intoxicated.

Like Crane, Hoggan is being held at the MDC while police continue to investigate.

“We’re still putting together the pieces,” Espinoza said.