Police identify two dead in Alamo Street apartment in Las Cruces

This article contains descriptions of suicide and domestic violence. Help is available for those thinking about suicide by calling 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. The Casa offers walk-in emergency shelter between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. or by calling 575-526-9513.

LAS CRUCES — New Mexico State Police identified the two people killed in an apartment complex days after police discovered the bodies.

Emilia Rueda, 20, and Carlos Esparza, 19, were killed at the compound in what the NMSP suspects was a murder-suicide, according to NMSP spokesman Ray Wilson.

“The NMSP Office of Investigations continues to gather facts related to this investigation,” Wilson said by email. “At this point, it seems likely that this was a murder-suicide. A final decision will be made once all the facts have been gathered and analyzed.”

The update comes days after police discovered the deaths of Rueda and Esparza at an apartment complex in the 1400 block of Alamo Street on September 19. Court records indicate that Rueda and Esparza were from El Paso.

New Mexico State University spokesman Justin Bannister confirmed that Rueda was a college art student.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of Emilia’s passing. Our Aggie community mourns her tragic loss. We extend our deepest condolences to her family and all who knew her,” said NMSU Dean of Students Ann Goodman, in a statement.

According to a GoFundMe set up to cover funeral expenses, Rueda worked at Paleta Bar, a restaurant in Las Cruces.

Silvia King, listed as an organizer on the GoFundMe page, said the family believed Esparza killed Rueda.

“Many of you may have questions about what happened to our precious Emilia (Rueda) and to be honest we don’t have all the answers yet. What we do know is that she was murdered by her boyfriend in her apartment,” King wrote.

King went on to say that Rueda’s body was undergoing an autopsy. Once this process is complete, they would begin the funeral services.

“Emilia (Rueda) will forever live in us, her smile, her laughter, her zest for life, her compassion for others is what makes her one in a million people.”

The Sun-News has contacted King but has not yet received a response for comment.

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Justin Garcia is a public safety reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News. He can be reached at[email protected].

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