Where is the West Mesa serial killer now? | Albuquerque’s biggest unsolved murder case

What happened in the West Mesa murder case?

The West Mesa Murders are the unsolved murders of 11 women who were found buried in the desert in the West Mesa of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2009. It is widely believed to be the work of a serial killer in the area, but despite there being suspects in the case, nobody has ever been arrested or charged. The idea of the killings being part of a sex trafficking ring has also been considered, but law enforcement favours the theory that the murders were committed by a serial killer. 

It was discovered that the crimes took place between 2001 and 2005, and an unknown killer buried the bodies in an arroyo bank on Albuquerque’s West Mesa, which is an undeveloped area in the city. Most of the victims were Hispanic and were involved with drugs and sex work.

Who are the suspects? 

In 2010, a reward of up to $100,000 was being offered for information leading to the arrest of the unknown killer. Police think the bodies were all buried by the same person and are the work of a serial killer. So let’s take a look at the suspects

  • Fred Reynolds: a pimp who knew one of the missing women and had photos of missing sex workers. However, he died of natural causes in January 2009.
  • Lorenzo Montoya lived less than 3 miles away from where the bodies were discovered. He had been arrested for violent attacks on sex workers on 2 separate occasions and had also threatened to kill his girlfriend. Co-workers also claimed he spoke about killing women and burying them on the West Mesa. In 2006, Montoya strangled a teenage sex worker to death and was subsequently shot to death by the boyfriend of the girl. The killings stopped after Montoya’s death, which makes him a very interesting suspect.  
  • Ron Erwin: In August 2010, police searched properties in Missouri associated with Erwin in connection with the West Mesa cases. Erwin was a local photographer. Police later cleared Erwin as a suspect.
  • Scott Lee Kimball was a convicted Colorado serial killer who had claimed he was being investigated for the West Mesa murders. However, he denied involvement in the murders. 
  • Joseph Blea: In 2014, police were interested in Blea as a suspect for the murders. Blea was known as the “Mid-School Rapist” as he would break into the homes of teenage girls who lived in Albuquerque and rape them. Blea was also suspected of killing a sex worker. Blea was sentenced to 36 years in prison in 2015 in connection with the ”Mid School Rapist” crimes. 

Where is the West Mesa serial killer now? 

The West Mesa serial killer still has never been unmasked, and the authorities are no closer to discovering the identity of the brutal murderer. 

Lorenzo Montoya seems the most likely perpetrator in this case and here’s why: 

  • Montoya’s home was searched by detectives on the case, and they found a video recording that shows Montoya having sex with an unknown and possibly dead woman.
  • He lived less than 3 miles away from where the bodies were discovered.
  • Montoya strangled a teenage sex worker to death.
  • The murders stopped after Montoya died in 2006.

What do you think about the case of the West Mesa serial killer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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