Question: Do you think law enforcement should have a national protocol in handling missing person cases? Why or why not?
Denish calls for missing-person alerts
Mesa graves spur call for action
Web Producer: Bill Diven
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The uncertainty linking dozens of missing women with remains unearthed from Albuquerque’s west mesa shows more needs to be done when someone disappears, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish said Tuesday.
“Let’s be frank about this,” Denish told KRQE News 13. “This is mostly women who go missing and are not found, and that’s really what caught my attention.
“I grieve along with all the other people in New Mexico not just for the families but for New Mexico. I think we can do better.”
She’s called a meeting for Friday to bring law enforcement, the media and other organizations together to talk about solutions.
Liz Pérez said she could’ve used more help when her daughter-in-law went missing. Nearly eight years ago Darlene Trujillo dropped her son off with Perez.
She said she was going on a quick trip to Arizona, but she never returned.
“(The police) said that they would file a missing persons report but that they couldn’t really do nothing on it because Darlene was over 18 years old,” Pérez said.
Trujillo is not one of the four women who investigators have identified so far from the west mesa graves. Forensics experts have said the remains are those of Victoria Chavez, Cinnamon Elks, Julie Nieto and Michelle Valdez.
All four young women disappeared in 2004, and all shared trouble in their lives involving drugs and prostitution. Eight sets of skeletal remains have yet to be identified, and investigators have yet to name any prime suspects in the case.
Denish said she doesn’t want to hear about limitations adding that she thinks a lot more can and should be done to publicize missing persons cases quickly.