Thursday, April 23, 2009
Friend: Drugs Destroyed Her
By Jeff Proctor
Journal Staff Writer
Doreen Marquez taught her two younger sisters how to make friends and do their hair, according to friends and family.
She later had two daughters of her own and was known to throw big, extravagant birthday parties for them.
Marquez loved jewelry, name-brand clothes and had a great sense of humor, her friends and family said.
At one point in her life, she drove a BMW and lived in a nice Albuquerque home, according to Lori Gallegos, a close friend of Marquez's.
But in fairly short order, Marquez was in the throes of addiction. And then she was gone.
Some time around 2000, things turned south for Marquez, Gallegos said. She went through a difficult breakup and started using heroin to numb the pain, her friend said.
By 2003, Marquez's behavior had gotten very erratic, Gallegos said. She was 27 years old and would disappear for months at a time. Her children would often stay with their father or with Marquez's family in Roswell. She had resorted to prostitution to feed her habit and make ends meet, her friend said. She had been arrested a few times and spent time in jail.
"She called me in October (2003) and said she was clean but she just didn't feel right," Gallegos said. "She was having a lot of issues. That was the last time I ever talked to her."
In mid-February, what turned out to be Marquez's skeleton was found buried in a shallow grave on a partly developed patch of the far Southwest Mesa near 118th and Dennis Chavez SW.
Family and friends had a strong feeling the bones belonged to the woman they loved but they couldn't be sure.
That changed Tuesday, when Albuquerque police notified Marquez's family that her remains had been identified. Authorities used dental records found in the Metropolitan Detention Center's archives. Marquez had gotten some dental work done during one of her stints at the West Side jail on a drug possession charge.
Marquez is the seventh victim to be identified from the mesa. The other six are: Victoria Chavez, Gina Michelle Valdez, Cinnamon Elks, Julie Nieto, Monica Candelaria and Veronica Romero.
The remains of Nieto's unborn child also have been unearthed, as well as four other adult skeletons that have not yet been identified.
Police say all the women had been prostitutes and had struggled with addiction.
Marquez's sister remembers her before the drugs took over.
"She was funny, and she was as beautiful inside as she was outside," Dorothy Marquez said. "She was very loving. She loved her daughters and our mom. She was my teacher; she taught me how to make friends and how to do my hair."
Marquez grew up in Barelas and lived all over Albuquerque, her sister said. She attended West Mesa High School and, for a time, Albuquerque High School.