Man charged with murdering transgender woman, roommate | KOB 4

Man charged with murdering transgender woman, roommate

J.R. Oppenheim
March 01, 2018 01:53 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Albuquerque Police Department said they've made an arrest in the double homicide of a 70-year-old man and a 28-year-old transgender woman.


Police arrested 32-year-old Charles Spiess, charging him with two open counts of murder in the deaths of Eugene Carrell Ray and Zakaria Fry. According to an arrest warrant, Spiess is also known as James Knight. The arrest warrant also states Spiess faces a tampering with evidence charge.

APD confirmed Tuesday that the two bodies found by a rancher in Santa Fe County last week were the remains of Ray and Fry. APD Public Information Officer Simon Drobik said Wednesday the suspect is in custody and has been booked at the Metropolitan Detention Center. 

"They were possibly all rooming together, and that's why we have a lot of evidence at that location," Drobik said. "There was a lot of DNA evidence taken, a lot of video evidence,  lots of physical evidence that was tagged into evidence. So it's a massive case and there's a lot of connections there. But the main thing is we're asking the public if they ever saw these three together."

Both Fry and Ray, who were roommates, were last heard from on Jan. 18. Family members of Fry have told police they found his room in disarray.

According to a criminal complaint, police found blood splatter in a guest bedroom, bloody towels and hypodermic needles in the home and garage. Police believe the needles are evidence of illicit drug use.

As authorities searched for Fry and Ray, Ray's family learned his credit card was used at a McDonald's and a Walmart for purchases from $80 to $100. There was also small amounts of cell phone data use and a data card purchased, the police report says.

Meanwhile, Spiess had a domestic dispute hearing set for Feb. 13 but did not appear. His sister reportedly said he "recently moved in with two roommates" identified as Fry and Ray.

Police also recovered Ray's abandoned vehicle that had blood splattered and a baseball bat inside. They also found disinfectant spray and duct tape.

Rancher Fidel Montoya found one of the bodies in a trash container near Moriarty on Feb. 19. The second body was found two miles away from there. Both Ray and Fry died from blunt force trauma to the head and face, the criminal complaint states.

Investigators believe Spiess had returned to the home after the murders, finding evidence he did so. Some substances found at the scene matched the substances found at the residence.

"We are heartbroken. This past month has been torture, and the pain continues as we look for answers about what happened to our dad," a family member of Ray said in a statement released Tuesday. "We appreciate the hard work that the Albuquerque Police Department has put into the case and are hopeful that they will have whoever did this in custody soon."

If you have any information about this case, contact police at (505) 843-STOP.


J.R. Oppenheim

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