Man arrested in Albuquerque homicide case

Posted at: 05/30/2013 6:36 PM | Updated at: 05/30/2013 7:17 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Stabbed to death, stuffed in the trunk of a car, lit on fire and left to burn behind a Wal- Mart. That's what Albuquerque police say Shaun Ryals did to his ex-girlfriend.

He faced a judge for her murder Thursday.

Police say Guadalupe Morales was burned so badly, her mother had to give detectives her toothbrush in order to identify her.

Ryals just 20 years old, but he's accused of brutally murdering the young woman he dated.

Police and firefighters were called to the Wal-Mart near Coors and Interstate 40 to put out a car fire the night of March 29. Once out, they found the badly burned body of Guadalupe Morales inside.

The Office of the Medical Examiner said the 19-year-old had been stabbed 26 times, was then stuffed into the trunk and lit on fire.

Police say Ryals told them he and Morales had been dating for three months but stopped seeing each other a week before she went missing.

Court records state, Ryals told detectives he knew she’d stolen from other men she’d been seeing and told police, "after she committed these crimes she is now possibly back in Mexico."

Detectives went to Ryals apartment in Northeast Albuquerque. Inside his apartment which he had already moved out of, they say they found blood droplets on the walls.

Detectives said when they tested Bluestar, which is a chemical that reacts with the hemoglobin in blood and turns bright blue when it is detected, the entire apartment floor lit up in a bright blue color.

“[Ryals] did tell detectives that the motive for the crime was an argument that took place between the two of them,” said Tasia Martinez, public information officer for the Albuquerque Police Department. “He initially told detectives it was over she had stolen items from him and also mentioned jealousy issues."

After a second testing of the apartment on May 29, investigators say several samples taken from inside the apartment matched DNA belonging to Morales.

Ryals is being held at the Bernalillo County jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond, and is also on suicide watch.

The investigation also found that Morales stole the car she was found in.


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