State Police: Slain El Rancho family wasn’t shot after all

Posted: June 21, 2011 in Uncategorized
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New Mexico State Police

That’s right. Despite telling media the El Rancho family found dead Sunday night in their home had each been shot, New Mexico State Police on Tuesday night, in an e-mail to media at 9:30 p.m., announced none of the three had been shot.

Autopsies on Lloyd Ortiz (55), his wife Dixie Ortiz (53) and their adults son Steven Ortiz (21) were each completed Tuesday by the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque and while their cause of death was not made public, Sgt. Tim Johnson said that autopsy proved the three had not been shot.

The following is text from Johnson’s e-mail:

The New Mexico State Police is changing the status of the case in El Rancho from a suspicious death investigation to a triple homicide investigation.

Although specific details of the case will continue to be withheld based on the fact that it is an ongoing criminal investigation, investigators did learn through the Office of the Medical Investigator that the victims had not been shot.

When I talked to Johnson on Tuesday night, he said he could not elaborate on why the erroneous information was released and whether that was the result of state police getting it wrong or misinformation being released intentionally.

Rumors of a possible double-homicide/suicide were erroneous, police now say.

Still, there is no word on whether a gun was found or whether a suspect has been identified. Johnson could only confirm investigators are following up leads.

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