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Updated at 9:15am — Man Arrested in Death Behind Farmington Safeway

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two accused in 47-year-old man’s death on July 6 led to new suspect.

Mike Barber, 47, who was arrested for aggressive panhandling on July 7 just half an hour after police found the body of 47-year-old Robert Bustos behind the Farmington Safeway shopping center on East Main Street, has been charged with murder and tampering with evidence in Bustos’ death, The Daily Times reported.

Bustos’ family said they saw him for the last time at 8 p.m. July 6, and police believe he was killed later that evening, The Daily Times said. His body was found the following morning.

Police learned of Barber’s alleged involvement after interviewing two people who had been sought in connection with the death, the paper reported.

Warrants had been issued last week for the arrest of Lorena Jackson, 49, and Darrell Jim, 38, for misdemeanor assault charges stemming from an unrelated beating behind the Safeway shopping center on the same day Bustos’ body was found, The Daily Times said.

Detectives found and interviewed Jackson and Jim in Tuba City, Ariz., on the Navajo Nation last week, but the two cannot be extradited unless they are charged with felonies, according to the paper.

Police believe others beside Barber were involved in Bustos’ death, The Daily Times said.

“We have identified all the people involved that were there when the crime occurred,” Farmington Police Sgt. Bruce Holiday said. “We’re not going to release any more information on (who was there) or what charges (police) are considering charging them with. There could be more charges pending.”

Police believe Bustos died from blunt force trauma to the head after being kicked, but an official cause of death is pending, Holiday said.

The attack is believed to have started during an argument, and robbery is not considered to be a motive, police said.

5:25pm 7/13/10 — Two People Wanted for Questioning in Man’s Death: The
man’s body was found July 7 behind the Safeway on East Main Street in


Two people were being sought Tuesday by Farmington police for questioning in connection with the July 7 slaying of a man whose body was found behind the Safeway on East Main Street, The Daily Times reported.

Police were looking for Lorena Jackson, 49, and Darrell Jim, 38, in connection with the death of Robert Bustos, 47, the newspaper said.

The Daily Times reported that according to police, Jackson has a tattoo on her cheek, goes by the name “winky” and is 5-foot-4 and weighs 150 pounds, while Jim was last seen with a Mohawk haircut and is 5-foot-9 and weighs 200 pounds. Both are Native Americans, according to the newspaper.

Police say they believe Bustos died of blunt force trauma.

Anyone with information that will assist the investigation is asked to call Detective Sgt. Bruce Holiday or Detective Wilson Charley at 334-6622 or call Crime Stoppers at 334-8477.




Thursday, 08 July 2010 07:44


Farmington police are investigating the death of a 37-year-old man whose body was found in a wooded area behind the Safeway shopping center on East Main Street Wednesday morning as a homicide, The Daily Times reported.

The victim was found with identification, but police haven’t released his name pending notification of relatives, The Daily Times said.

Police Sgt. Bruce Holiday told the paper that police believe the man died of blunt force trauma, but no details about what weapon may have been used and what injuries the victim suffered were released.

More than a dozen people were interviewed by detectives after patrol officers were called to the location around 8:30 a.m. when a passerby noticed the body and called police, The Daily Times said.

“They’re all persons of interest, but we haven’t identified any suspects yet,” Holiday told the paper.

Police believe the man was killed at the isolated location behind the shopping center where he was found and are still working to determine the time of death, Holiday said.