Homicide investigation underway at massage spa in NW Albuquerque

[anvplayer video=”5090275″ station=”998127″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police confirmed a second death at a massage business in just three weeks. It happened around 11 p.m. Tuesday night, at the Canna Spa near Coors and Fortuna.

Officers said they were responding to a possible robbery, but what they found was much worse.

"I got an update that there was an individual found deceased," said Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina.

The department said the investigation is still in the early stages. Multiple viewers sent KOB 4 surveillance video from inside the business. It appears to show a potential suspect, gathering items inside what appears to be an office.

APD is aware of the video. Officials said they are noticing a dangerous pattern. Tuesday night’s homicide follows the fatal shooting of Sihui Fang at Wonderful Massage in January.

"It shouldn’t be the same offenders because we do have those other individuals in custody, but it’s obvious – it’s possible that people are preying upon a certain group," Chief Medina said.

"It’s certainly over the last few months taken on a new tone, and obviously, become much more problematic for people who work in these kinds of businesses, very dangerous," said Rod Honstein, Fang’s partner of four years.

Honstein said he was concerned for Fang’s safety before her death, due to a surge in massage business robberies, and an attempted rape at Fang’s business about a year ago.

"We took steps to prepare, just in case something were to happen," Honstein said. "We had a gun in the shop."

Fang used that gun to wound one of her attackers before she died. APD officials said there are probably a lot more attacks at massage businesses than are being reported, mainly because victims are afraid of getting in trouble.

"I think it’s important that we recognize that it doesn’t matter to us their immigration status or if they had a business license,” Medina said. “What matters to us is that they report the crime and we’re able to bring people to justice."

By KOB 4’s count, this marks the 13th homicide investigation for Albuquerque police this year.

Police have released photos of the suspect and the suspect’s truck. Click here to see.