Family distraught after loved one’s descanso vandalized in NW Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – An Albuquerque family already grieving the loss of a loved one is now dealing with vandals.

A descanso for Emilio C de Baca has been destroyed twice in a matter of months.

The roadside memorial is in the median along Western Trail, near Unser in northwest Albuquerque. It’s the same area police say his body was dumped in June 2021.

The display served as a tribute for the loved ones of C de Baca. There was a hand-made cross, candles, rosaries, and more. Now, there’s nothing left, everything has been stolen.

“He was a great kid,” said Gary Martinez. “He had some problems. He was a big-hearted kid.”

Emilio C de Baca would have been 24 this month. Estevan Paiz has been charged with his death.

His grandpa, Gary Martinez said the descanso was a place his family could go to remember him and restore his dignity.

But more than a year after his murder his roadside memorial was vandalized. First went his handmade cross then everything else.

But beyond the missing items, they want someone held accountable for committing this crime. They’ve filed police reports after both incidents. The person responsible could face a petty misdemeanor or worse.

“That is the lowest of lows in my book and we will continue to put crosses as long as him memory, which is forever in our hearts. We will always replace it if we have to,” said Martinez.

Martinez said they are already working on a new cross, one that will be much harder to steal.

It is a crime to desecrate these roadside memorials. Family members are asking anyone with information to come forward.