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Question: When did alex marentes become head of the union?
Where is his old girlfriend marianne (the cop) now?

Asked on Tuesday, April 03, 2012 at 07:35:24 PM
Reply: Marentes became president of the union in 1996.

Was officer Marianne Wallace his girlfriend in 1989, the year Kait was shot? Anything you can tell us about such a relationship, if it existed, would be of great interest. At that point, I think Marentes was a field officer.

I believe Marianne Wallace has now retired.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: It seems as though the cop the wedding party witnessed at the scene would be of utmost importance....why not attempt to locate the members of the wedding party for hypnosis? Or have you reached a point where you are hoping for someone to come forward on their own?

Asked on Tuesday, April 03, 2012 at 07:32:34 PM
Reply: The only person who actually saw Kait's car against the pole with the uniformed cop standing next to it, was the witness who reported it to us. She was a relative of the groom, visiting from out of town, and was sitting in the back seat. Feeliing a bit awkward in this situation--not knowing the bride's family who were hosting the event and who were chattering to each other--she was looking out the car window as they approached the motel where she'd be staying. At the time, seeing a cop there, she assumed there had been an accident, but authorities were taking care of it so there was no neeed to ask the driver of her own car to stop.

It wasn't until the next day when she saw the news TV coverage that she realized what she'd witnessed was a murder.

She has given us a signed statement of what she saw. The cop was turned away from her, looking toward the west, so she didn't see his face. She assumed he was looking for an ambulace to arrive.

I think we have all the information from her that she has. And none of the other members of the wedding party saw anything.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: You stated as the ambulance pulled away police arrived, which officers are on record as just arriving?

Asked on Sunday, April 01, 2012 at 02:23:16 PM
Reply: We do have a list. There's nothing suspicious about the names on it. What does raise questions are the names of officers who were there (according to reports by individual officers who referred to their presence) but whose names were omitted from the official record. Names such as Sgt. John B. Gallegos and Alex Marentes.

Answered by: Kait
Reply: We do have a list. There's nothing suspicious about the names on it. What does raise questions are the names of officers who were there (according to reports by individual officers who referred to their presence) but whose names were omitted from the official record. Names such as Sgt. John B. Gallegos and Alex Marentes.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: How did Merriman justify his calling in the scene as an accident with no injuries?
And what about the first medical team on site? What did they say about the scene and who was/was not present? Why was another medical team called and who made the call and what was their statement regarding the nature of the crime scene?
How much time lapsed between shots being fired and sirens wailing according to the witness?

Asked on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 02:18:50 PM
Reply: I don't know how Merriman justified his call of an accident with no injuries, since I've never spoken to Merriman. The first medical team, Albuquerque Ambulance, just happened to be in the area, heard something on police radio about an accident in the vicinity, and decided to stop to see if their help was needed. They were not formally dispatched. They have stated on record that when they got to the scene there was nobody there except Kait, unconscious in her car. No cops, no cars, no by-standers. They say "It was so quiet it was eerie." Moments later the fire department arrived with their medical team. They WERE dispatched, and therefore used sirens. (How they came to be dispatched is a mystery, since there is no APD record of a call for rescue.) They helped the AA medics transfer Kait to the AA ambulance. They, too, say there were no police at the scene when they arrived but that, as the ambulance pulled away, police did begin to arrive. We don't know the exact amount of time between when the witnesses heard the shots and when they heard the sirens, but it wasn't very long. The witnesses were awakened, the husband ran to the window and saw the VW bug pull into the lot next door, make a U-turn, and go back down the street, by-passing the scene. The husband then ran down to the corner and saw Kait's car against a pole but saw no one else there. He returned to his home and shortly afterward he and his wife heard the sirens.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
ROP Team
Question: Who were the questionable members of the ROP team back when Kait was murdered? Or rather more diplomatically who were the members whose names popped up during your investigation?

Asked on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 02:09:23 PM
Reply: The names are all in Peter's case file, which I have read, but don't have on hand to refer to at this moment. I recall that officer Robert Valtierra, Sergeant Paul Heatley, and Officer Matt Griffin all shot Peter. Officer Steve Nakamura was part of the team, but did not fire at Peter and told his sgt. that Peter was unarmed and had made no threatening gestures when the others shot him. I believe the team was dispatched by Joseph Polisar, who later was made police chief. Chief at the time of the shooting was Sam Baca, who told reporters that Peter was shot in the chest in self defense, although the autopsy report stated he was shot in the back.

Answered by: Kait
a couple of questions
Question: I had a couple of questions upon reading the book again as I have followed your case now for awhile hoping for resolution for you. Why was the detective so incredulous that Kait had run a red light? I never got that - was the implication that she was a goody two shoes or something? If she was running for her life, which she clearly was, she would have gone through a red light as she tried to escape. I don't understand his reaction at all, it made him seem very naive, which isn't my take on a typical cop.
Also, why was the transcript of Escobedo and Garcia in the cell presumed to be accurate by Mike, the reporter? They stated they hadn't done anything - well, criminals lie all the time. I also assume that many of them are savvy enough to know that conversations are being taped while in jail if they've been there before. Thus wouldn't they want to put their "best foot forward" if they suspect they're being taped? He said they didn't know, but somehow I couldn't believe that. I presume they must have known.

Asked on Monday, March 12, 2012 at 04:05:37 PM
Reply: I don't think Det. Gallegos was incredulous at all. He just sounded that way. He had been placed in the awkward position of having to deal with demanding parents who were asking questions for which there were no sensible answers. He did the best he could to pacify us. That was the job he was assigned to do.

Of course, anybody who was being chased by a car filled an occupant she thought might kill her would have run a red light, "Goody Two-shoes' or not.

Reporter Mike Gallagher did not assume the statements that Escobedo and Garcia made in the holding cell to be evidence of their innocence. That's not the point he--or we--were trying to make.

That point was that those men DID make those statments, which were secretly recorded and transcribed. So, whether those were true or not, that's what they said. Since the statements that were recorded did not support their guilt, two days before Kait's case was to go before the Grand Jury, Det. Gallegos had a secretary "re-transcribe" the tape in order to change it and make the men seem to be admitting guilt. The point was not whether the Hispanic suspects were or were not guilty. It was the fact that police departments can and do alter evidence in order to support whatever it is they want to prove.

Answered by: Kait
handwriting analysis
Question: have you checked anyone elses handwriting to match that note. If I were you and how a lot of people think that Sharon is involved and the note does look feminine so that could possibly be something to check on.

Asked on Monday, March 12, 2012 at 07:43:05 AM
Reply: A handwriting expert did examine the note. He confirmed that it was written by Kait's boyfriend, Dung Nguyen. Dung then admitted that he did, in fact, write the note. He admitted that to law enforcement. However, APD still has that note in Kait's file, identified as having been written by Kait.

Answered by: Kait
Question: i know that if it did get into the wrong hands that your daughters story could get turned upside down and all around, but what if you or someone else you trusted decided to make a documentary. It would help to get the story out more. Or you could possibly contact 48 hours, they are a very reliable source and if they did make a video they could help tremendously. i can only imagine how busy you are and how strong you are and would have to be. I do believe that someone will come forward.

Asked on Monday, March 12, 2012 at 05:31:24 AM
Reply: "48 Hours" has seriously considered doing this story. They WANTED to do it. Their problem was and is that it's "too complex." The most important element in the first 48 hrs. is the crime scene. That's usually pretty cut and dried, and it's the basis for the documentary.

But in Kait's case there are at least seven conflicting versions of the crime scene. 1. Det. Merriman, an off duty male in plain clothes, says he stumbled on the scene and found a man with a VW bug already there. 2. Officer Wallace -- female & in uniform --arrives 40 seconds later and reports seeing no VW bug. She says she, Det. Merriman and the man at the scene (Paul Apodaca) went together to open the passenger's door of Kait's car and Paul A. seemed "very excited" by all the blood. 3. Paul Apodaca, the first person at the scene and therefore a very important witness, denies seeing any female cop or any cop in uniform. He says the only person he saw was Det. Merriman and he and Merriman went by themselves to look into the car and he was 'sickened" by all the blood. 4. Witnesses several houses away were awakened by gun shots, looked out their window and saw a VW bug race up their street and try to take refuge in the parking lot of an auto body shop next door to their home. 5. However, police reports say the VW bug pulled into a "dirt lot" with no mention of any auto body shop. 6. Det. Merriman said he wasn't able to question Paul Apodaca because he had to "stay with the victim" until rescue arrived. He said he told Officer Wallace to question Apodaca. Officer Wallace, on the other hand, says Det. Merriman specifically told her NOT to question Apodaca because he had already done so. She says she got busy directing traffic 7. The medics who transported Kait to the hospital say that when they arrived there were no cops or cop cars at the scene--in fact, the place was empty and "eerily quiet"-- there was just Kait alone in her car, up against a pole. Det. Merriman was not "with the victim." Officer Wallace was not "directing traffic." They say they almost missed the scene because there was nobody there to wave them down. Four occumpants of a second emergency vehicle that arrived minutes later say the same thing. THERE WERE NO POLICEMEN AT THE SCENE.

"48 Hours" reluctantly told us they could not make a documentary without at least SOME documented statements that they could build a story on. It would be like constructing a building without a foundation.

Answered by: Kait
Question: In 2008 a person who signed himself Fermin Garcia posted "Take my name and GO Video off your website or you just as dead aS your daughter
I have connections with APD and the Sherriffs dept. fuck with me you will die bitch."

I never forgot that post and recently asked a friend who was a cop in 1989 if he knew anything about GO VIDEO. He says it was a front for cocaine trafficking and a fencing operation for stolen electronics. He said I could post that here but not to give his name.

Asked on Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 12:55:13 PM
Reply: Does your cop friend know if GO VIDEO was linked in any way to the Vietnamese community?

Answered by: Kait's Mom
General questions
Question: The females who were slashed with Ray Padilla, since so much time has lapsed could it be beneficial to attempt a dialogue with them again? Maybe they would talk now?
What about the girl judge Brennan was arrested for assaulting- Marsella Duarte I believe, has Pat contacted her? As his mistress she would have been in a position to know certain things.
And this is going to sound macabre and ridiculous but I think Pat should consider doing a "tour" of pertinent locations around Albuquerque relating to the case with access to her "wall" of info. I know how absurd it sounds but it could really kick things into gear and maybe garner some national focus and we Americans love stuff like that...

Asked on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 at 03:51:19 PM
Reply: Thank you for these innovative suggestions. I don't have any reason to believe that Judge Brennan would have any knowledge about Kait's case. But the girls who were slashed when Ray was -- that's a good idea--although it may be difficult to track them down at this stage of the game. We do have a video of Pat "doing the tour" and are putting it to use though not making it public at the moment.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
the cop
Question: It had to be the cop the wedding party witnessed standing at the side of the vehicle everyone else denied being...the supposed collusion between Hispanic/Vietnamese must have been a ruse to simply "scare" Kait, meaning the cop(s) had planned to take her out but enlisted these other groups to do what they though twas merely scare her and then one waiting (cop) showed up to finish the job....the wedding party saw the murderer

Asked on Thursday, March 01, 2012 at 08:25:11 PM
Reply: That is definitely a possibility.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
desert castle
Question: The Desert Castle you mentioned in the book always intrigued me...did anyone ever investigate that more thoroughly? Or pinpoint its exact location? If very bad people were using it I wonder if they would find the bodies of others surrounding it whom they buried...people they wanted to get rid of. I always had a very ominous sense of the place.

Asked on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 12:12:02 PM
Reply: We've never nailed down the exact place because there have turned out to be too many possibilities. We've received information from a number of people about VIP-owned, South-Western style mansions in the foothills of the Sandia mountains that were not real homes but were used for money laundering, entertaining visiting VIPs, and drug dealing. Some of those places had private air strips.

I can't post the names of the owners of those places because I'd be sued. But I did recognize those names and, upon researching them, found them all allegedly linked to the drug trade.

I don't believe any bodies would have been buried at such places. Those were places for social and "business" gatherings and allegedly for sex orgies. Any deaths of people who became threats to the owners would have been conducted elsewhere and been staged to look like accidents, suicides, or "random drive-by shootings." They wouldn't have buried bodies in their back yards.

Answered by: Kait's Mother
Medical Examiner
Question: You've consulted a private investigator but have you ever consulted an outside medical examiner? Someone who could interpret things like 22. caliber bullets disappearing where there are no exit wounds. They would be able to tell you with a degree of certainty whether the type of bullets thought to have been used would have shattered and become unfindable. I don't know whether you know about Doctor Jan Garavaglia but she has recently started a show investigation old crimes, she seems like an ethical woman and you might be able to pay for her opinion on the case or someone like her, as long as it was someone outside of the New Mexico office, I wouldn't trust anyone in there.

It might also be possible to find out what ER doctors treated your daughter on the night of the attack and find out what they saw and what they felt about the injuries she sustained. They work a lot of drive by cases and they might have some insight on it. Sometimes things just don't look right, it could be one more testimony that your daughter was not the victim of a random attack and everything helps.

God bless your family, I spent my childhood curled up reading your books without having any idea about this horrific case. Your stories brought me so much happiness as a girl if there is any way I can give back a moment of happiness to you I would gladly do it.

Asked on Monday, February 13, 2012 at 09:51:55 PM
Reply: Good thinking. Yes, we have consulted outside medical examiners, but since Kait's body is long gone, they have nothing to go on except the autopsy report. The bullets had to travel through a pane of glass before striking the target, and may have been made more fragile because of that. The consensus of opinion is that, at a certain angle, if a bullet strikes a bone, it's possible for it to totally fragment. But only if it's a very small caliber bullet. That hole in the door frame was obviously made by a large caliber bullet. Which strongly suggests two guns were used.

The medical examiner was at a disadvantage because he was not provided with scene photos or Kait's clothing, etc., which would have influenced his view of what happened. When our P.I. examined the clothing in the evidence room, she discovered there was no blood on the left side, (the side on which Kait was struck.) Medical examiners now tell us that the fact that all the blood was on the right side indicates that Kait fell immediately to her right after being struck by the bullets, and therefore could not have continued to drive the car another 700 feet.

That fact -- plus the rear-end damage to the left side of Kait's car--seems to indicate that her car was rammed from behind and forced off the road, and she was shot by someone on foot after the car came to rest against a pole.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: An on-line poll conducted by True Crime Book Reviews has named the Real Crimes Web site at 2011's "Best True Crime Web Site in the Nation." It's interesting how many of the botched or corruptly investigated cases on that site are from New Mexico, most especially Albuquerque. Kait's case is one of those, but there are many others as well. Hope the Feds see THAT!

Asked on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 02:35:28 PM
Reply: We are very pleased that the Real Crimes site at has received such recognition and hope that every one of you will visit that site and will pass along news of its existence to everyone you know, especially contacts in the media. (Maybe one of those murders occurred in your own area of the country! That will give your local media the necessary "hook" to do another story about it.)

Kait's case is only ONE of literally thousands of murder cases that have not been properly/honestly investigated by law enforcement. Every one of those agonized families who struggled so hard to word their stories for that Web site, (with every allegation supported by documentation, linked to their accounts), deserves justice for their murdered loved one.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: You've probably already connected this, but I think that the fact that Sharon gave Kait directions to her house seems a little odd, because she was shot when returning home. And according to my understanding, the directions were of getting to her house by a different route.

If my understanding is right, it shows that the murder was indeed planned beforehand, and Sharon was involved. The murderer would have been aware of Kait's whereabouts that night and could have lain in ambush.

(Also Sharon's revelation of the times where Kait was last seen also puts her under pretty high suspicion, as well as that she was a new friend of Kait.)

Wish you the Best.

Asked on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 08:43:04 PM
Reply: Sharon's written instructions for Kait about how to get to her house were reasonable. They constituted a direct route. I have no issue with that.

But the more we investigate, and the more conflicting stories Sharon comes up with, the more I can't help but believe that she was caught up in some web of activity that resulted in Kait's death and is probably living in fear because she knows too much. I do NOT believe that Sharon knew Kait would be killed.

Maybe I'm naive. Maybe I simply liked Sharon the two times I met her and don't want to believe she helped set up the murder. But, the bottom line is, I don't believe that. I think Sharon was "used" by others to achieve what those 'others" wanted and is therefore a victim herself. What we need to know is who those "others" were.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Corrupt police of abq...
Question: Did Kate go to Highland High School? When this happend, I remember some of us going by the scene in disbelief. Such a tragedy.. But I find it awkward that Sharon was the one who introduced her to the owner of the chop shop, she obviously was friends with the crowd that was in that club, which to my recollection contained a lot of Vietnamese .. Awkward that her story was wrong from the get go, the time frame didn't match, and she suddenly left town because she was in fear of her life which tells me that she was involved with the chop shop in some sort of way, and she was or could have been he next target... Nice how she left and Kate didn't stand a chance.. All the restaurants in Abq, specifically Teriyaki Chicken Bowl, until about 2 yrs ago were run by the Vietnamese , and they didn't accept debit or check cards, they only accepted cash, because they were running a money laundering scheme. And they hired all associates from within. Now they have cleaned house, accept debit and check cards, and have totally different staff. I know that because I spoke to a police officer who told me all of that. I found that to be rather interesting. It's all connected. You have rights as a parent, and it doesn't matter how long ago it was, you have a story to tell. I don't know if you have ever been on television, but this is something that should be brought to light, considering all the corrupt behavior within APD at this time. It's a shame you have to do our own detective work, but you will have answers. God will provide you with all you need. I'm so sorry for your sorrow. Dont ever give up. Anne

Asked on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 07:18:24 PM
Reply: Yes, Kait went to Highland. Thank you for the information about the Vietnamese money laundering. If you have any more details you can share with us and aren't comfortable posting them here, please send them by private e-mail.

In the course of our personal investigation, video stores and auto repair shops keep coming up over and over again in one way or another. Even Sharon, herself, prior to moving to Albuquerque in 1989, was a principal of American Video Brokers, a trade name of Seiden Sales Inc. in the Denver area. Go Video and owner Fermin Garcia have been mentioned on this message board, (Garcia has 3 sons at APD and has threatened to have me killed) if I ever linked his name to Go Video . Hong Phuc Duy Van, who claimed the same address as Bao Tran (the paralegal in CA who set up Dung's car wrecks), owned Van's Video in San Diego, which he arranged to have arsoned in Nov. 1989.

All coincidences? Or is there a common link?

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Roy Solomen
Question: Are you aware of a man named Roy Solomen?

Asked on Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 06:03:18 AM
Reply: At the time of Kait's death, Roy and his brother Jeff were of the owners of a downtown nightclub called Beyond Ordinary, which was also co-owned by Sharon Smith's brother-in-law, John Smith. We've been told that, for a short time, Sharon's estranged husband, Robert Blake Smith, worked there as a bar tender.

Is there anything we should know about Beyond Ordinary or Roy Solomon that might link to Kait's case?

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Dave Here
Question: There is nothing more innocent as a child and there is nothing more wonderful than to be blessed with watching them grow and learn from us. The memories will always be with us. When one is taken from us we are overcome with grief and sorrow. But those feelings are actually the Love you still have, and always will have for her. Take solace in the fact you will be reunited with Kait some day and it will be all clear to us.

Merry Chrismas, I pray for you and your family daily....Dave

Asked on Saturday, December 24, 2011 at 02:00:21 PM
Reply: Thank you, Dave. We are fortunate enough to have been bolsters by the prayers of many caring people like you throughout this very long ordeal, and those have kept us going.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Best wishes
Question: I've been checking this board since I first read WKMD?. Now, I have 2 copies.

My Christmas wish is the same each year - for the Arquettes to learn who was behind this horrible crime and why it was done.

Christmas isn't quite as merry without Kait. New Years aren't as happy.

If you're reading this, person / people behind Kait's death, step forward and confess. If you decide not to do the right thing, just remember - what goes around, comes around.

Asked on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 05:57:57 PM

As the baby of the family, Kait had been the pivot of Christmas, and memories of happier times overwhelmed us.

"Remember when she wrapped up all her old toys and put them under the tree so she would have more packages to open than Donnie?"

"Remember when she baked pies and forgot to put in sugar?"

"Remember when we took her to see The Nutcracker, and she brought the hamsters in her purse so they could see the Mouse King?"

I remember, I responded silently. Oh, yes, I remember.

I remembered the chubby three-year-old, still damp from her bath, who snuggled on Donís lap as he read her The Night Before Christmas. I remembered the gregarious ten-year-old who sang Christmas carols off key as she lined the driveway with luminarias. I remembered the starry-eyed teenager on the last Christmas Eve of her life, filling a stocking for her boyfriend -- "Dung says they don't have Christmas stockings in Vietnam. I'm going to sneak over and hang this on his door knob so when he wakes up in the morning heíll know thereís a Santa Claus."

I remember it all just as clearly this year as I did on the first Christmas after her death. No matter how hard we have tried, our family has never again have been able to reproduce Christmas. We just smile and pretend.

Answered by: Kait's Mom

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