Body found on mesa northwest of Rio Rancho; police investigating

Created: 04/24/2014 10:43 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

KOB Eyewitness News 4 has learned of a gruesome discovery on the desert mesa northwest of Rio Rancho.

Sandoval County Sheriff and Rio Rancho police sources confirm a decomposing body was found deep in a remote ravine about 10 miles outside the city.

A source said the body was found Sunday in that ravine tucked between the mesas near Frost Road outside Rio Rancho.

It's a place full of nearly nothing, and miles from anyone.

The ravine is a 20 minute drive on a 4-wheel-drive road, far from main county roads, and a steep hike into a rocky crevice. 

It's there someone found a decomposing body Sunday.

Sheriff's office crime tape is all that's left of the desert mesa crime scene where sources at Rio Rancho police and the Sandoval County Sheriff's office confirm a body was found, along with some clothes.

A cell phone was found close by the body.

From Chopper 4, the surrounding area is nothing but desert as far as the eye can see.

Out there in the middle of that mesa, it's easy to understand how something could go unnoticed for so long.

In fact, folks who live there -- few and far between -- tell KOB the area is known as a sort of dumping ground.

One man who saw police swarming the area Sunday said, "If the dead could stand up for just 10 minutes, I'd be scared what I would see."

In these fields, it seems someone was taken to disappear.

Sources at both law enforcement agencies investigating this case tell KOB Thursday they are working with the Office of the Medical Investigator to make a positive ID of that body -- cross checking with known missing persons cases. 

Investigators are also trying to figure out who that cell phone belonged to -- a key piece of the puzzle to find out who this person was, and possibly how they ended up dead.

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