FBI confirms five found dead are missing sisters, children

J.R. Oppenheim
January 11, 2017 06:41 PM

The FBI learned Wednesday the five people found dead on the Santa Ana Pueblo are the two missing sisters and three children who went missing last week.


FBI agents continue to investigate how Leticia George, Vanessa George and the young children – Zoe Becenti, Chloe Becenti and Haleigh Toledo – ended up deceased on the pueblo’s lands, and agents are still waiting for autopsy results from the Office of the Medical Examiner. Investigators located the remains over the last few days.

The George sisters and the children were reported missing last Thursday. Agents do not believe there was foul play by an outside party is involved in the deaths. No causes of death have been revealed.

Marietta George, the mother of the sisters, told KOB by phone she believes the sisters and children were stranded and had no way to get help, but the FBI would not confirm that information.

FBI Media Coordinator Frank Fisher said Wednesday he recognizes the media have many questions regarding the case and he will release information when it becomes available. However, Fisher reiterated the investigation is ongoing and the FBI does not intend to hold a press conference Wednesday.

“Please be assured I will distribute whatever information I can as quickly as I can,” Fisher said.

Fisher said he could not comment further at this time.

Officials on the Santa Ana Pueblo said in a statement released Wednesday the five people found on its lands are not members of the tribe nor are they affiliated with the pueblo. The statement said the Santa Ana Pueblo will work with the FBI as the investigation progresses, using its resources as needed.

Click here to read the full Santa Ana Pueblo statement.

The Santa Ana Police and Conservation Departments have aided the FBI in the investigation, along with U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Albuquerque Police Department, New Mexico State Police, the Jemez Pueblo Police Department, the Navajo Nation Criminal Investigation Section and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.

“The Pueblo has no information as to how or why they found their way onto Pueblo lands, and it is very unsettling to the Pueblo that some or all of the actions that led to these deaths may have occurred on its lands,” the statement says.

The Santa Ana Pueblo extended its condolences to the families of the deceased, and the statement expressed both the tribe’s sadness over the tragedy and the gratitude for the efforts of law enforcement.

 “We are deeply sorry for this terrible tragedy, and hope that the circumstances that led to it will be fully determined in the near future,” the pueblo said in the statement.

The pueblo referred all other inquiries to the FBI.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account for the George family.


J.R. Oppenheim

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved



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