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Post  Drop Out on Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:54 am

Police Find Woman's Remains.

Publication: Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Publication Date: 15-OCT

Gang Member Arrested On Murder Count

Police found the remains of a Santa Fe woman reported missing last week at two locations early Saturday morning after arresting a convicted California gang member on suspicion of killing her, officials said.

With help from several confidential sources, investigators found Kathleen Lopez's dismembered remains in two locations: the old Santa Fe landfill near The Downs at Santa Fe and in a secluded arroyo near La Cienega, Santa Fe Police Deputy Chief Beverly Lennen said.

The confidential sources also led police to Ivan Sanchez-Lara, also known as "Pato" and Ramon Delgado, who was arrested Friday evening at a mobile home off Airport Road, Lennen said.

Sanchez-Lara, 25, has been charged with an open count of murder, four counts of tampering with evidence, aggravated assault on a peace officer and being a felon in possession of a firearm, she said.

Lopez, 31, was reported missing by her mother and sister Oct. 4 after they found large amounts of blood inside their home in 1200 block of Don Diego Avenue.

Sanchez-Lara, a Mexican national, has an extensive criminal record dating back to when he was 15 in Ontario, Calif., Ontario Police Detective Joe Giallo said Saturday.

Currently, he's wanted in California on suspicion of violating parole, Giallo said.

"He's very hardcore. When he was a youngster, he was causing us a lot of problems," said Giallo, who has dealt with Sanchez-Lara since he was a teen-ager.

Lennen declined to discuss the motive behind Lopez's death, but said Sanchez-Lara and Lopez knew each other, and "she was known to be in his company."

Investigators suspect Lopez was killed at her home on Don Diego Avenue, where she lived with her mother, because the blood found at her home was her's, Lennen said.

A large amount of blood was found inside the home, including bloody footprints, and some of the blood was cleaned up, according to court documents.

Police also suspect more than one individual was involved in Lopez's death and subsequent disposal of her body.

Lennen said more arrests are possible as the investigation continues.

An acquaintance of Lopez told police that Lopez attended a party at his residence the night of Oct. 2 and left his home the next morning with two unidentified men, according to court documents.

The men came to pick her up after she telephoned someone that morning, the acquaintance told police.

Lennen didn't rule out the possibility that one of the men seen with Lopez that morning could have been Sanchez-Lara.

A neighbor of Lopez saw her 1999 Oldsmobile Cutlass backing out of her driveway around 3 p.m. Oct. 3, but couldn't see the driver because of tinted windows on her vehicle, the documents said.

The Oldsmobile was found abandoned behind the Santa Fe Outlet Mall Oct. 5. It appeared to have been recently cleaned.

Santa Fe police executed a search warrant Friday evening at a home in the Las Casitas Mobile Home Park off Airport Road and arrested Sanchez-Lara.

He allegedly pointed a pistol at one of the officers, but surrendered without further confrontation, Lennen said.

Sanchez-Lara is a member of Black Angel, a gang in Ontario known to deal drugs and commit violent crimes, such as robberies and assaults, Giallo said in a telephone interview from Ontario.

Sanchez-Lara, whose gang name is "Pato," was twice deported to Mexico after being convicted of felonies, but returned to the United States using false documents, the detective said.

Sanchez-Lara was convicted of being a gang member in possession of a firearm in 1997 after he was caught with a weapon used to kill someone in Los Angeles County, Giallo said.

He was sentenced to up to six years, but served less than a year in prison before he was deported to Mexico, Giallo said.

A year later Sanchez-Lara was again arrested by Ontario police, and this time charged with a probation violation and forging immigration documents.

He was convicted and deported back to Mexico that year. Giallo said Mexican nationals convicted of less severe crimes in California are deported to their native country before they finish serving their sentences.

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