Tyrone Tsosie

 My son, Tyrone Tsosie, 20, was found comatose on the Frontage Road fifteen miles east of Gallup, New Mexico, at around 2:30 a.m. on January 6, 1996.  Although his wallet was missing, doctors and nurses at the hospital recognized him from his having been at the hospital when his youngest son was ill.


Tyrone was flown to the UNM Hospital in Albuquerque where he was pronounced brain dead.  I had to make the decision to disconnect life support.  I have been tortured ever since by wondering if that was the right decision.  If I’d left him on the machine, maybe some miracle might have happened.


The Navajo Tribal Criminal Investigators investigated the case.  They told me, “Your son must have gotten tired and laid down by the side of the road and been run over by the car.”  One officer told me the car was so hot that Tyrone’s nylon jacket melted onto his body.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!  I’ve never seen a vehicle with flames shooting out of it.  In order for a car to create that much heat it would have had to have been parked on top of my son for hours.


The autopsy report didn’t say anything like that. There were no broken bones or anything else to indicate my son was run over.  According to the Medical Examiner, his  only injury was a blunt force blow to the back of the head, like he’d been hit with a baseball bat.  The cause of death was listed as “undetermined.”


Our family believes Tyrone was killed during an argument with someone he knew, and that family members of the killer dumped his body by the side of the road.


The police refused to investigate Tyrone’s case, so I put up a reward and hired private investigators from Farmington.  The one clue they had to follow up on was the missing wallet.  My sister had seen Tyrone at the mall that very evening, and she knew he had his wallet with him then, because he borrowed some money from her and put it in his wallet.


We have reason to believe that, after leaving the mall, Tyrone had a fight with his girlfriend, Veronica Scott.  He had split up with Veronica the previous summer and moved out of state, but she sweet-talked him into coming back to her.  Tyrone and Veronica had children together, and he didn’t want to live away from them and just send support money.  Tyrone and Veronica fought a lot, and her family members would get involved in their fights.  When I say, “involved,” I mean physically involved.  Veronica’s mom in particular was quick to swing a broom or a frying pan.


Our investigators eventually located Tyrone’s wallet in Veronica’s possession.  They went over to her house three times to ask her about it.  Finally she admitted she had it.   She said she found it in a drawer.  There are two possible explanations: Either Tyrone was in Veronica’s house between the time he left the mall and the time he was found dead on the roadside and she took his wallet at that time  or the person who dumped his body lifted his wallet from his pocket and delivered it to Veronica.


Our P.I. kept trying to call the criminal investigators at Crown Point to get them involved.  Every time he called, they put him on hold.  He has a tape of a phone conversation where they said they were “too swamped” to look into Tyrone’s case.


I’m a single parent of four and Tyrone’s medical expenses and funeral bills wiped me out financially.  I nearly went crazy trying to come up with money to pay the private investigators.  I started spending my weekends fund-raising at flea markets.  I couldn’t keep it up, and the investigators dropped off the case.


I don’t understand why it was necessary for me to hire private investigators in the first place.  Why can’t the police do their job?  Why did they lie to me about Tyrone’s being run over by a car with flames shooting out of it?  If private investigators could question Tyrone’s girlfriend and find his wallet, why was that too hard for police to do?  Now that we’ve found out for ourselves that Tyrone was at his girlfriend’s house right before he was killed, why won’t the police follow up on that information and interrogate Veronica and her family?


Tyrone’s cousin, Kristopher Gray, was found dead in the Farmington area one year before Tyrone was killed.  The two cousins were very close friends.  The authorities wouldn’t investigate Kris’s case either.  They first told Kris’s mother, Marie Lope, that  he was beaten to death.  Then they closed the case as an accident, even though the embalmer told Marie that Kris had a fresh stab wound under his rib cage and he had to patch it to keep it from leaking.


Kris’s case is on this same Real Crimes web site as Tyrone’s.  By rights, neither case ought to be here.  If the police had done the jobs they’re paid to do, both cases would have been solved long ago.


Bertha BeGay (Tyrone’s mother)