Suspect in 2012 kidnapping, murder appears in court

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – 19-year-old Cindy Rivera was kidnapped and killed in Las Vegas in 2012. 10 years later, her family is on the verge of seeing some justice. One of Rivera’s suspected kidnappers was in court Monday.

Judge: “Do the parties have an agreement they wish to propose to the court? Are we proceeding to trial?”

The answer to that question is still up in the air. 

Anselmo “Chemo” Ortiz went before a judge for kidnapping charges in the 2012 disappearance and murder of Cindy Rivera. 

The court proceeding was to either agree on a plea deal or agree to go to trial. 

“Your honor, we are very close to reaching a resolution in this matter. I think Miss Leavell would agree with that we did speak over the weekend. There’s been a couple of plea offers that the state has tendered and there’s been some counteroffers,” said the prosecutor. 

But both sides only agreed they need more time. 

For the Rivera family, it’s been too much time. 

“My family, me, and my daughter have been suffering big time these last 11 years,” said Jessie Rivera, Cindy Rivera’s father. 

They say Ortiz knows where Cindy’s body is but has so far refused to tell them.

Another suspect, Christopher Trujillo – who later killed himself – left a recorded confession to kidnapping and killing Cindy. He also said Ortiz helped kidnap her.

Trujillo was Cindy’s ex-husband. He and Ortiz later worked together at Trujillo’s business. 

“It appeared to me, they were prospering quite a bit in buying property tow trucks and whatnot,” said Jessie. 

Almost more than justice Cindy’s family just wants her back. 

“It’s important to us so that we have a place to visit my sister. You know, all these years we’ve been without her,” said Angela Luna, Cindy’s sister.   

Seeing Ortiz finally in court Friday brought mixed feelings. 

“It is very heartbreaking to see his face today with no remorse, no feelings, nothing,” said Jessie. 

If no plea deal is reached, Ortiz is scheduled for trial in mid-September. 

Cindy’s family will be watching the process closely.

“My sister was the biggest-hearted person you could ever meet,” said Luna. “She doesn’t have a voice anymore, so we the family are her voice.”

They will meet again in mid-September to decide if Ortiz will go to trial or not. 

He will remain behind bars in the meantime at the Colfax County Detention Center.