The following are the first 2 chapters from the book “Murderers in New Mexico: Gruesome and Grisly True Stories of Murders in the Sand”
David Parker Ray: The Toy Box Killer
David Parker Ray didn’t kill a toy box. He used a toy box to kill… his toy box. The toy box was a small travel trailer parked next to an unremarkable house in the barren desert town of Elephant Butte, New Mexico.
The trailer obviously hadn’t been moved for years. It was dirty, unkempt, and exuded an eerie odor. The door was always kept firmly shut. A gynecologist’s chair was in the center of the dingy room, with strong straps and buckles attached to it. The room was cluttered with ominous devices—soldering irons, metal collars, padlocks, pulleys and chains, cattle prods, whips, jumper cables, saws, leg spreaders, a vaginal speculum, intubation tubes, syringes, and hundreds of metallic objects with mysterious uses.
A table was crowded into the room and it had straps fastened on its corners. A fur-lined coffin was shoved to one side of the room and, alongside it, was an electric generator with wires attached.
That and other grisly items were placed inside what was a toy room for David Parker Ray and a torture room for his victims. His “play time” was sometimes a family affair. His playmates were his girlfriend, Cindy Lea Hendy, Glenda “Jesse” Ray—his very own daughter—and her boyfriend, Dennis Roy Yancy. A curiously matched group who enjoyed the sport of killing for the sake of a contorted pleasure.
The inside of the trailer was papered with rough diagrams of techniques to inflict pain, either sexually or otherwise. Ray got his jollies by thrusting himself repeatedly inside a woman until she screamed herself hoarse. That titillated him; it gave him a thrill. And a lady’s screams were no problem either, as the walls of the toy room were totally soundproofed.
On July 24, 1996, Ray’s daughter, Jesse, met a young woman by the name of Kelli Garrett at a local bar. Garrett had just left her home after a vicious fight with her husband and was blowing off some steam. Jesse thought Kelli would make a good victim; and her father would be proud of her if she could lure this woman home, or so she thought.
Jesse and Kelli played pool, until Kelli was very drunk. Then Jesse called David to pick them up. After he arrived, they led her to their car, threw her in the back seat then clasped a metal collar around her neck. She would make a fun-filled slave for their pleasure.
When Kelli started to panic, they loaded up a syringe with barbiturates and gave her a shot. When she fell unconscious, they drove her to their precious toy box. Ray then then proceeded to use the leg spreader and rape her multiple times. He thrusted and thrusted his penis into her and squealed in orgasmic pleasure. The cattle prods worked well as he jabbed her with them many times. She squealed too, though not from an orgasm, but from pain. Her screams alone aroused him. Jesse was also there and kept shooting Kelli up with drugs so she wouldn’t squirm, because it was exciting to see her muscles tense up and her skin exude bubbles of sweat.
For four days, Parker Ray tortured her. Finally, tired of her, he tossed her in his car and drove out to the desert. Once there, he slit her throat and watched the bright red blood gush from her tender neck. Then he left, not realizing she was still alive. The driver in a passing car spotted Kelli on the ground and called an ambulance. Mercifully, she survived, but would never be the same.
After being questioned by the police, Kelli went home but her husband didn’t believe her outrageous story. He didn’t even believe her when he saw the marks on her tender body. Instead, he accused her of having an affair with another man. That was a familiar excuse in their marriage.
The police didn’t believe her either. They thought she might be emotionally disturbed. No one would perform such gruesome sexual acts like she described. Nevertheless, they were required to fill out a form, but for some unknown reason, misfiled their report. That occasionally happens in a place that is amassed with paperwork as result of disgruntled citizens.
After the report went missing, the case went dead. It wasn’t reopened again until Kelli Garrett came forward in March of 1999 during Ray’s trial about another victim. Even if the file had been lost or misplaced, what happened to her wasn’t going to be forgotten by her family and friends who are alive today.
On July 5, 1997, Tom McCouley reported that his half-sister, Sylva Marie Parker—no relation to David Parker Ray—was missing from her home in Elephant Butte township in New Mexico. She was a drug addict who also sold narcotics on the streets. He told the police he couldn’t reach her by phone, so he went to investigate. She wasn’t there, but her children were. It was unusual for her to abandon her children, regardless of her psychological state. He took her children to his home and was interviewed by the police.
In his police report, McCouley indicated that Marie’s disappearance could be the result of a drug deal gone wrong. That wasn’t unusual for that area of New Mexico, but the police were required to investigate. They searched the seedy town of Truth and Consequences for her, and finally found her body slumped on the floor of a boarded-up saloon. She’d been strangled. There was no sign that she had been tortured or raped.
Police visited the neighbors. One of them, Dee Phillips, said, “These people were all running together and they weren’t very approvable… when I went to bed at night, I put a bar on my back door.” During the course of their investigation, the police discovered that Parker’s boyfriend at the time was Dennis Yancy—one of David Ray Parker’s “playmates.”
The people who associated with David Parker Ray weren’t like others. They had a kind of shadow on them that couldn’t be explained by the sunshine on their faces.
The Sylva Marie Parker case became an open case, and the police continued their investigation.
In March of 1999, Cynthia Virgil Jaramillo, a prostitute, met middle-aged Ray on the street where he was cruising for a victim. He told Cynthia he wanted oral sex for twenty bucks. She agreed and hopped in his Toyota.
After she entered the vehicle, Cynthia saw Ray’s girlfriend in the back seat waiting for her. Ray then showed the prostitute a badge and said she was under arrest for solicitation. Next, Jesse and Ray slapped duct tape across her mouth and clasped a thick, metal collar around her neck. It had a chain on it—the kind of chain one uses for a large and vicious dog.
Ray and Cindy took her to their house first, after which they planned on taking her to their toy box. The house interior was covered with protruding pegs with straps and ropes. Cindy and Ray padlocked the chain on her metal collar to a pole by the bed and tore the duct tape off Cynthia’s mouth. Ray then inserted a VHS tape in the player. Their hapless victim heard, among other things, “You probably think you’re going to be raped and you’re fucking sure about that… you’ll be raped thoroughly and repeatedly in every hole you’ve got.”
Then Ray told her, “You are going to be a sex slave.” In horror, Cynthia watched the recording which showed Ray and his girlfriend shoving dildos into an unknown woman’s vagina and then they stretched out her nipples on a devious device. The walls of his living room were plastered with photos and diagrams of what Ray did to his other victims, whom he called his “packages.”
He further instructed her about how to behave with his girlfriend, as well as to himself. “If, during oral sex, or and any other time, you should bite one of us, I’m going to cut on you a little bit. I’ll cut your nipples off if it’s a bad bite… remember the commands, ‘yes, Master, no, Mistress.’ If she tells you to pull up your knees, you say, ‘yes, Mistress’ and then lie down on the floor exactly the way she told you to do. If she tells you to spread your knees, and hold them wide so she can play, you do exactly that…”
Next, Ray added that he was going to administer pain, saying there will be times when they will use whips and electroshock for pleasure. Ray derived great pleasure from telling his potential victims about the atrocities he had in mind for them. Ray explained how sometimes he would use needles, nails, and toenail clippers. He also described how he clamps women’s nipples and their vaginas. The victims were told that Ray, Cindy, his daughter, and occasionally Dennis Yancy, were “into S&M.”
Many of his victims were led to believe that cooperation would earn them mercy, but mercy was never forthcoming.
After Cynthia was made to watch the videotapes, they gagged her and took her to the toy box. They slammed her on the floor face-up and placed electrodes on parts of her body—nipples, fingers, and clitoris then hooked those body parts up to the generator. They hoisted her up to the ceiling with her dog collar chain and beat her tender body until it was covered with bloody welts.
When Cynthia started to bleed, they lowered her and set her in the gynecologist’s chair where Ray repeatedly raped and sodomized her. He then dumped her broken and bruised body in the coffin and shoved dildos into her vagina as Cindy watched in perverse delight.
After Ray went to work, Cindy was supposed to keep watch on Cynthia, but went in another room to make a phone call. While she was on the phone, Cynthia managed to reach the keys to her collar, undid the padlock and headed for the door. Cindy saw her, panicked, and threw a nearby lamp at her. It hit her on the head, creating a nasty gash. Naked and terrified, Cynthia ran out of the trailer.
Cars on the street veered out of the way when they saw her staggering along the pavement. Finally, she spotted a small house with an open door. Frantically, she ran inside. The owner was shocked, but wrapped a bathrobe around her and called the police.
The police put out an all-points bulletin and arrested Cindy and Ray when they were pulling away from their trailer home. After being taken into custody, Ray and Cindy said that Cynthia Jaramillo was a friend and they had been trying to help her kick a heroin habit. Her bodily appearance vividly told a different story. The police held Cindy Lea Hendy and David Ray pending further investigation.
The police were especially alarmed by the condition of Cynthia Jaramillo’s body, took her to the hospital and obtained a warrant to search their trailer home. Just as Cynthia had reported, the authorities found the “toys”—whips, chains, belts, metal collars, the gynecologist’s chair, cattle prods, stun guns, dildos, and metallic gadgets. Everything was meticulously labeled and placed on shelves in the evidence room.
Because Cynthia was a known prostitute, the police needed more evidence that would prove the acts she described weren’t granted with consent. Sometimes prostitutes will permit such abuse for money. Elephant Butte was a town full of desperate people operating outside the law in high-risk professions.
When stories about these heinous crimes hit the newspapers, a woman named Angelica Montano came forward, reporting that she also was sexually abused and tortured by Ray and his girlfriend.
Angelica indicated that she lived nearby and had simply gone to Ray’s door asking to borrow some cake mix. Then she reported that Parker grabbed her and told her she was being kidnapped. He held a gun to her head and talked through his teeth as he grinned at her maliciously. There was a kinky kind of glare in his eyes as he spit out the words.
Angelica told the authorities that Cindy and Ray then stripped her, chained her to a table, and attached electrodes to her body. She said she shrieked in pain and passed out. Then she said that they carried her to Ray’s trailer, the toy box, and fastened her to the gynecologist chair where he forced her to give him oral sex. She reported that she nearly choked in disgust. Angelica then went on to say that he and Cindy applied more electrodes to the most sensitive areas of her body and sent jolts of electricity through her body. She begged to be released, promising not to reveal the four days of torture she had endured. She then explained to the police that Ray acceded to her desperate request.
Police moved about the neighborhood, questioning a number of people. One person told them that Ray seemed like a, “nice guy…very quiet.” However, another one said that Cindy, when inebriated, once told her that she and Ray had killed a number of people because it gave her a “rush.” Then the neighbor added that Cindy told her they had thrown bodies into Elephant Butte Lake.
This story sounded too far-fetched until the media reported more of these sordid tales. Although the authorities did a cursory dredging of the lake, nothing significant was found.
After having seen the devilish torture implements in Ray’s trailer, the police assigned more of their people to uncover the extent of their crimes. That way, they would not only be assured of a conviction, but have the culprits imprisoned for a long time. In order to rid the area of this insidious evil, the investigators investigated the unsolved murder case of Sylvia Marie Parker, whose body was found in the saloon.
During the course of their extensive inquiries, the police discovered that Jesse Ray had a boyfriend named Dennis Yancy, who once dated Sylvia Parker. He was called in for questioning, and admitted to the strangulation, indicating he was told to do so by David Ray and Cindy Hendy.
After persistent questioning, Yancy also admitted he witnessed David Ray and his daughter torturing other women. He stated he didn’t report it because he was afraid of Ray. Then they told him that, unless he turned state’s witness and testified, his sentence could be unbearably long.
The police now had the proof they needed to show that Cynthia Jaramillo, the prostitute, wasn’t a voluntary participant because Ray had forcefully raped and tortured other women. Yancy was charged with second-degree murder, evidence tampering, and conspiracy.
Because of Yancy’s eyewitness accounts, David Parker Ray and Cynthia Hendy were charged with kidnapping, murder, battery, sexual assault, and conspiracy.
By March of 1999, the police now had forensic evidence and credible witness testimonials to convict Ray and his accomplices on three cases—Kelli Garrett, Cynthia Jaramillo, and Angelica Montano.
During the first trial, the judge declared a mistrial based on technical grounds. He decided that it would be difficult to select a truly impartial jury, so Ray was retried in Hobbs, New Mexico, and convicted on twelve charges.
Unfortunately, Angelica Montano died of a drug overdose before her testimony could be heard. They knew there would be a greater impact if a witness testified in person, but they used her deposition to substantiate the case. It helped.
In 2001, David Parker Ray was convicted of the attempted murder of Kelli Garrett and sentenced to two hundred and twenty-three years in prison.
His girlfriend, Cynthia Hendy, cooperated with police and was sentenced to thirty-six years in prison. Currently, she is out of prison.
Their mutual friend, Dennis Yancy, who killed Marie Parker, served eleven years in prison and was placed on probation. Yancy, however, violated his probation and was brought into custody again. He was sentenced to prison and will serve his term until the year 2021.
Ray’s daughter, Jesse, was sentenced to eighteen months in prison with an additional five years’ probation because she was helpful in obtaining the convictions.
There were numerous reports of other sex crimes and murders that David Ray had committed. Authorities were astonished. They combed through their files and noted the large number of unsolved cases and missing person’s files—all within fifteen miles of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
His daughter, Jesse, told the police that Ray had abducted many women whom he tortured and killed. Their bodies were dumped in the vast deserts of New Mexico, never to be found. The hot winds carry their restless ghosts. It is no wonder that people don’t take leisurely walks in the desert sands. Leisure is replaced by leeriness there.
Before he barely had time to start serving his time, David Parker Ray died of a heart attack in prison on May 28, 2002. It is said his victims numbered about forty or more.
Ricky Abeyta: The Chimayo Massacre
The Abeyta family lived in a squalid little mobile home a few miles north of Chimayo, New Mexico. Chimayo was a tired and sleepy town just a few miles from Albuquerque, but now it sleeps no more. Was it the poverty or the fever-pitch anxiety to have the happiness even other poor people have?
Ignacita Sandoval lived there with her boyfriend, Ricky Abeyta, and their fourteen-year-old son, Eloy. In addition, Ricky’s sister, Mary Ellen, as well as her boyfriend, Macario Gonzales, and their five-month-old son, Justin. So there were six people in all living in the crowded trailer like worms in a can.
The police at the Rio Arriba County station knew this family very well, as they were often called to the home on domestic disputes. Ricky and Ignacita often argued vehemently and neighbors had to call in the cops frequently.
Ricky was an irascible and well-muscled construction worker. Because he was a hunter, he also owned guns—legally—and the police had to exercise caution to avoid further violence. In addition, Ricky had a record of aggravated assaults, harassment, and larceny against Ignacita in the past. His pattern of behavior was well-known. He grew up on anger. It was, at least, familiar.
By January 1991, Ignacita already left Ricky on three occasions, but she always returned. Abused women often do that, as they are extremely dependent and vulnerable. This time Ignacita left Ricky again and was finally determined to end their relationship permanently. Ignacita had even filed a restraining order against Ricky. She had always known there was no hope for their marriage, and finally found the courage to resolve the situation and create a new life for herself.
The problem was that Ignacita needed to remove her belongings out of the mobile home in order to relocate permanently. That is an unhappy part of every break-up. She chose a weekend in which to do it because she wanted her family to help out, not only physically but emotionally. Ricky worked on Saturdays, so that would be an ideal time to schedule the move. Thus, she would feel safe enough to pack up and leave.
Ricky’s mother, Mrs. Abeyta, lived next door and when she saw Ignacita packing up a U-Haul, she called Ricky at work. Ignacita hadn’t counted on that. She’d forgotten how meddling the woman could be.
Within an hour, Ricky came storming home in a rage touting a 7-mm rifle and a .357 magnum. He waved his guns in the air and tore into the house hollering, “With this, you will pay!”
When he saw Ignacita and Cheryl emptying the drawers in their bedroom, his anger flared up like lightning. Instinctively, he fired the .357 magnum. Ignacita was shot in the face and side. She collapsed to the floor, bleeding profusely. Her sister squealed. Turning the rifle toward Cheryl, Ricky squeezed the trigger. Cheryl also dropped into a lifeless heap beside Ignacita. Ricky’s rage hadn’t run its course, and he raced down the hall toward the door.
Mary Ellen Sandoval, was also in the house when she heard the gun shots. She was closer to the front door, so she rushed out of the front door clutching her five-month-old baby, Justin. Full of blind anger, Ricky shot her in the back. Mary Ellen fell forward and dropped her baby in the process. Ricky shot Justin and he rolled under the U-Haul.
Ricky ran over to the back of the truck with Eloy and Macario in the back sorting the stuff inside. He saw his stereo among the items being packed and launched a shouting match with Eloy.
Eloy and Macario had brought a handgun with them for protection, so Eloy swung around and grabbed it from the body of the truck. Ricky shot Eloy in the shoulder then in his groin and he collapsed in a pool of blood, then he shot Macario, who dropped dead instantly.
In the meantime, Sheriff’s Deputy, Jerry Martinez, and State Police Officer, Glen Huber, were on their way to the mobile home. This was a routine stop, as they thought Ricky was at work.
When the officers arrived, they were astonished at the chaos. Ricky saw them and turned his rifle on the police car and shot Martinez and Huber through the windshield. The driver, Jerry Martinez, was shot in the head, and slumped over the wheel. Huber, who was in the process of climbing out of the vehicle, was shot in the back. They were both dead.
Ricky ran for his Chevy truck, hopped in, and fled. He parked it near the woods, and took off on foot into the Sangre de Cristo foothills.
The frightened neighbors called the State Police and thirty officers arrived at the bloody scene. To their dismay, they discovered their fellow officers, Martinez and Huber murdered. Thinking that Ricky was holed up in the house, a team of cops stormed in, leaping over Mary Ellen’s body sprawled on the front steps.
Tearing down the short hallway, the cops found the mangled bodies of Ignacita and Cheryl Rendon. The house was stone cold and silent. The walls were spattered red with blood.
When Officer Chris Valdez arrived in an unmarked car, Eloy limped out from the U-Haul and staggered toward him bleeding profusely. Valdez then grabbed a sleeping bag from his car and wrapped Eloy in it. He escorted the bleeding man to a waiting ambulance. Eloy said very little, as he was in severe pain and shock.
A crowd of people gathered in the street. The police cordoned off the curious mob as news media arrived. A reporter approached Officer Valdez, who was covered with Eloy’s blood. She asked if he was injured and Valdez said, “The first thing I saw was this young kid with his shoulder bleeding. It was sort of like chaos. We didn’t know then if Ricky Abeyta was still in the house.”
Then the reporter followed up with another question—a rather caustic one at that—and asked if the first two police officers on the scene could have been prevented the killings. Calming himself, Officer Valdez responded, “They were both ambushed. This can happen. Officers are in volatile situations and statistics show officers are killed more often at a domestic violence call. The parties are already angry by the time they show up.”
The reporter from the Sun newspaper was there too and approached another bystander—Robert Seeds—a truck driver. He said, “I talked to Officer Glen Huber earlier this afternoon, and we were going to have a few burgers and a barbeque… Glen was a true leader and he had the respect of all the police he worked with.” Huber was well-known and well-liked in the community. Martinez was recently hired.
The coroner checked out the bodies of the deceased. One by one, each body was covered and loaded in to a waiting ambulance. Seven were confirmed dead at the scene—Ignacita Sandoval, Cheryl Rendon, Mary Ellen Sandoval, Justin Sandoval, Macario Gonzales, Deputy Sheriff Jerry Martinez, and State Police Officer Glen Huber. Eloy was in the hospital with serious injuries. He was the only victim who survived the massacre.
The forensic team meticulously marked each cartridge and the blotches and drops of blood in the interior and exterior of the house and truck. One member of the team was in charge of blood spatter analysis, and moved around the entire scene taking photos and making notes. The process went on for hours into the night.
A nationwide manhunt was issued for the Sangre de Cristo hills area where Ricky fled. It was a heavily wooded area, with many bare bluffs. Armed police searched the hills, while helicopters circled overhead, shining searchlights into the trees. Ricky was a sharpshooter and everyone had to be careful. On a lower bluff, the police found fresh cigarette butts, so it appeared that Abeyta was most likely watching the cops as they had surrounded his house and property.
Abeyta wandered the hills for an entire day, dodging the lights from the helicopters. He was thirsty and hungry, and could only find a few berries along the way. He eventually ended up at the house of his brother-in-law, Manuel Sanchez in Bernillo, a small town near Albuquerque. Tired and filthy, he headed for the front door and knocked timidly.
Ricky said nothing about the incident to Manuel. He simply asked his brother-in-law to accompany him to State Police Headquarters. There he turned himself in, but refused to speak to the police other than to identify himself. He was taken into custody. His clothes were taken for evidence and he was made to change into an orange jumpsuit.
On January 28, 1991, Ricky Abeyta was arraigned in Espanola, New Mexico, and charged with three murders, and four more later.
He claimed self-defense or accidental killing and declared he would represent himself. Twenty of Ricky’s family members attended the arraignment.
They expressed shock. His brother-in-law said, “When you get upset, you don’t realize what you’re doing. He was probably provoked.” That was a gross understatement, but Manuel had no idea about the particular facts about the case. At the arraignment, the court ruled that Abeyta was to be held without bail.
Ricky Abeyta, realizing the gravity of the charges, contacted his jailer, and indicated he no longer wanted to represent himself, but have an attorney.
Gary Mitchell was appointed as his public defender. Mitchell had a practice in Ruidoso and was considered a clever attorney.
Ricky was eligible for the death penalty, especially because he killed a baby and two police officers. It was the largest case to hit the area in years. The newspapers and TV reported on it daily.
Prosecutors charged Abeyta with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Ignacita Sandoval, Cheryl Rendon, Mary Ellen Sandoval, and State Police Officer Glen Huber. Two counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of Macario Gonzales and Deputy Sheriff Jerry Martinez, and one count of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Justin Sandoval.
Abeyta’s attorney had as his primary objective saving Abeyta from the death penalty.
After eleven days of deliberation, the jury convicted Ricky Abeyta on all counts. He was sentenced to one hundred and forty-six years in prison without the possibility of parole.
Ricky Abeyta was hoping to shorten his sentence, so he researched the prison law library in Amarillo, Texas, and filed an appeal in July of 1995.
Abeyta represented himself, claiming the jury wasn’t given the proper instructions and he also claimed it was a case of “imperfect self-defense.”
“Imperfect self-defense” means that a person uses preemptory deadly force because he had a fear that his life may be in danger. He claimed this meant that the charges of the murders of Ignacita Sandoval, Deputy Sheriff Martinez, and State Police Officer Huber should be reduced to involuntary manslaughter.
His testimony was very different from the state’s evidence of the initial incident of January 26, 1991.
Contrary to his statement to the police when he was first arrested, Ricky told the court in Santa Fe that he came home and parked his truck on a back road near his mother’s house. He said he didn’t notice the U-Haul or any vehicles parked at his house because he couldn’t see the whole house, and that he only saw the moving process taking place as he walked toward the mobile home.
The killings of Ignacita and Cheryl, according to Ricky, occurred because she took his gun out of his back pocket. He said he struggled with her, trying to get the pistol out of her hand. During the course of their altercation, she shot herself accidentally. When asked about the reason why he shot Chery, Ricky said it was because he was defending his property. Therefore, the deaths of Ignacita and Cheryl constituted involuntary manslaughter, not murder. The jury wasn’t instructed properly, he added, because they weren’t informed of the particulars of the event.
The Appellate Court considered his presentation carefully and ruled that—if Ignacita had accidentally shot herself—that wouldn’t constitute involuntary manslaughter; it would be an accidental killing rendered by the victim herself. Therefore, Ricky’s proposed charge of “imperfect defense” didn’t apply there. One has to be very specific in using legal terms, and Ricky didn’t use them properly there.
As for the deaths of Cheryl Rendon and Mary Ellen, Ricky claimed they were killed when he was defending his property—thus, the “imperfect self-defense.” Had the jury been told about those circumstances, Ricky said he would have been charged with imperfect self-defense, not murder.
The Appellate Court rejected that argument saying it was long known that Ricky was in a state of co-habitation, and that living situation indicates that the property was shared, so the shootings wouldn’t qualify as a defense of property. In essence, such property is owned by both parties. Defense of one’s property refers to an outside intruder, not a wife or live-in girlfriend, they explained.
In their final statement, the Appellate Court stated: “This ‘imperfect self-defense’ had, as a matter of fact, been adequately covered under our jury instructions on manslaughter. We see no reason to change our jury instructions… covering a legal concept that has long been a part of New Mexico law.”
Ricky was returned to prison to serve out his sentence. Of course, a sentence of one hundred and forty-six years without parole meant he would be in prison for the remainder of his life.
In 2011, the Sun newspaper ran an article remembering the Chimayo massacre. In it, the editor, Lou Mattei, said, “The passing of two decades has done little to dim the memory, or the significance of that day (1/26/91) for many of those involved.”
In reflecting upon the event, State Police Sgt., Chris Valdez, said he was still haunted by the sight of the dead and added, “They prepare you at the (Police) Academy to see one of your own dead… and so you learn to deal with that. But not a 5-month-old baby.”