SANTA FE – The victim of a Santa Fe homicide last week was identified by police Wednesday as Santiago Quintana, and his accused killer is now in custody.
Quintana, who police say has family in Santa Fe, was in his 50s, but police didn’t give a specific age Wednesday.
His accused killer, 26-year-old Anthony Diaz, was arrested around noon Wednesday and is charged with an open count of murder.
Police spokesman Greg Gurule said public tips after Diaz’s photo and information started circulating Tuesday evening helped lead to his arrest. He is currently in the Santa Fe County jail under a $250,000 cash-only bond.
According to police, passersby called police to report a fight on a walking trail near St. Michael’s Drive and the Rail Runner railroad tracks at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 2. The fight escalated and SFPD says a report from the Office of the Medical Investigator says Quintana died of blunt force trauma. Gurule said there were several witnesses to the fight and surveillance video, too.
Police initially said the death was suspicious, but finally declared it a homicide when they announced that they were looking for Diaz Tuesday evening, after charging him with the murder. Gurule said Diaz surrendered peacefully when officers took him into custody.
Open space off the Rail Trail just south of St. Mike’s is a regular camping or gathering spot for the homeless. A homeless woman was found dead in the same area last year.
Online court records show that Diaz was most recently charged with robbery and aggravated battery in February, but the charges were dismissed in May for a lack of prosecution. Santa Fe County jail records indicate Diaz spent a day in the lockup for missing a court date and was released July 28.
He has been booked into that jail 29 times since 2008 for various crimes and for missing court dates or failing to pay fines.