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Summer Reading Project
Question: Hi Lois!
I know it is hard to write about a trageic event in your life but you did very well!

I had a list of about 50 books to choose from for my summer reading book and I picked yours after reading your Kidnapped series and Random last summer. We have to make a t-shirt to go along with the book and i have to wear it to school. So I thought well if i have to wear a shirt to school maybe i could help by like putting on it make a donation to ....... i think crime stoppers was what you mentioned in your book is their something to send to you because i know you are doing the investigating now?

I'm sorry to hear about your daughter but i am glad you wrote about it because in the end it's reality and like many people learn everyday reality is hard to face.

with love, 13 year old student

Asked on Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 06:19:58 PM
Reply: That's a very sweet offer. However, we're not accepting donations. We've used Kait's college fund.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: I use to be a faithful reader of Ann Rule's website but illness and arthritis usually keeps me from the keyboard these last few years. Today I thought to check her site for updates and found the link to your site about Kait. How tragic and wasteful that such a young life is taken to protect those who value life so little.

It is time that the American people stand up as one and tell our lawmakers that we will no longer sit by and watch this type of travesty unfold. We have the power if we just would use it. I urge anyone reading this site to register to vote and to do so. If your lawmakers are not doing the job they should; vote them out of office! And keep voting the unproductive, unhearing, and uncaring politicians out until you find someone who will step up and say, "I am with you and I will stop this."

That this young girl was murdered because she feared to go to the police is unbelievably tragic and to then have law enforcement cover up and ignore the facts is as criminal as the murder it's self.

I pray that someone will step up and have courage to tell the truth so Kait cann rest in peace and all those you love her can finally lay down the torch and be able to mourn her in love without the burden of not knowing if her killers will ever be punished.

You will be in my prayers.


Asked on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 11:29:26 PM
Reply: Thank you, Phoebe. Ann Rule is a dear friend of mine and has been following this case from the very beginning. She has told me that she wishes she could have been with me when I went searching for the Desert Castle.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Never give up! part two
Question: Kait and your entire family have been etched in my heart every since I first read the book. Not a day goes by that I don’t check this site to see if Kait’s killer has been caught. You will always have my deepest sympathy for what you have had to endure and my highest regards for the grace with which you all have done it. Now please don’t think that I am a nut but I had a dream about Kait about 3 months ago that I thought I should tell you about. It was actually just like I was watching Kait have a conversation. Obviously I have never met Kait, so I’m not sure how I even knew it was her, but I did. She was just talking and then I suddenly realized that I was going to wake up. I felt this sense of urgency, so I asked Kait if she had anything important to say. She looked at me and answered, “Firefly or butterfly.” I can’t remember which it was. I know that I should of written it down but it just seemed so crazy and didn’t make any sense to me. I have worried ever since then about this, so I thought I would just tell you in case it made some sense to you. The question I have for you is this, do you have people in place to take over your search for Kait’s killers when you are gone? The reason that I ask this is because the killers or people who know who the killers are, may keep tabs on the message board. It is important that they know that this search will continue on and on until Kait’s killers are found. Not only does your family wants the answers, people all over this country want the answers. God Bless you. You will be in my prayers, hopes, and wishes. Never Give Up!

Asked on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 03:03:50 PM
Reply: Thank you for you caring messages. As you know, we too left Albuquerque after my book came out for fear of retaliation from (1) the Vietnamese; (2) the Hispanic suspects; (3) but, most of all, the police.

Your dream may have been spurred by my statement at the end of my book that my words of warning went fluttering after Kait as ineffectively as "a battalion of butterflies."

Yes, the personal investigation of Kait's case will continue after my death. Kait has two sisters and two brothers who will keep it going.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Never give up! part one
Question: Hi Mrs. Arquette,
Unfortunately I do not have any information about Kait’s murder, but I do have a couple thoughts and a question that I feel compelled to share with you. I am a 40 year old mom who lives in the Midwest. For a brief period of time, I lived in Albuquerque. Even though it was after Kait’s murder (1995-1996), I never knew anything about Kait until I moved back to the Midwest. The entire time that I lived in Albuquerque I felt scared and unsafe. I am a fairly rational person but I just could not shake the feeling that this was not a safe place to raise my family. One day I was at a car lot on Central and this mailman walked up to me and asked me where I was from. I told him that I lived there in Albuquerque. He then asked me where in Albuquerque. I answered rather vaguely, “on the NE side.” I will never forget his reply as long as I live. He said “Yes you live at ......” He gave me my exact address! It was so creepy. I went home that night and told my husband that we had to get out of there. We moved within two weeks. The day after we moved back I was tired from the move and I went to my local library for a break. There on an end cap was your book, “Who Killed My Daughter.” I picked it up and took it home. Imagine my surprise that night when I started reading and realized that these horrendous events had happened where we had just moved from. I read the book from front to cover that night and had chills the entire time. I have read it probably ten times since then and it still moves me every time.

Asked on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 03:01:33 PM
Question: Why do you think kait did not call her parents that nite to come for her and warn them that something may happen to her or that she was in trouble?. I know you said she may have thought she could handle things but it seems to me she had a real fear and kept it to her self why????

Asked on Saturday, August 09, 2008 at 09:44:48 PM
Reply: There's no way we can know this for sure, since one person who can give us the answer is dead, and the other, Sharon Smith, is afraid to talk.

We can only speculate. One possibility is that Kait was afraid for our safety -- perhaps she'd been told that we would be killed if she talked. Another possibility -- she was afraid that our knee jerk reaction would be to call the police, (which it would have been, because at that time we had total trust in law enforcement). If the cops who partied at that chop shop were involved in or protecting the activities that she thought might get her killed, that's the last thing she would have wanted. Another possibility -- (and I'm sure this is why she never told us about the car wreck scam or about Dung's abuse of her) -- is that she feared we would report Dung's criminal activities to the INS and he would be deported. Even if she was breaking up with him, she would not have wished that fate upon him. Or she might have thought the whole story was too long and involved to try to tell us over the phone that night and thought she could get to our house and tell us in person before anything happened to her. (She left Sharon's house abruptly and was driving in the direction of our house when she was shot.)

Or there may be an entirely different reason that we've never thought of.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
unsolved mysteries
Question: has the story of your daughter come on unsolved mysteries and do you have any way of knowing when the particular episode in which your daughter is in will show.....i would really like to watch it and gain more knowledge. It is fine i will understand if you don\'t have anyway of knowing when the particular episode will be showing....i pray for you and your family and it saddens me so much to see this case is still not solved.....i will pray that you find a satisfying ending soon.......don\'t ever give up!

Asked on Thursday, August 07, 2008 at 10:27:32 PM
Reply: I have no way of knowing when the Lifetime Channel reruns Kait's story. I only hear about it after the fact from viewers who have seen it.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
New cable show -- could it help Kait?
Question: Lois and family, I came across this on Allison DuBois' website today. Perhaps this new show may help in catching Kait's killer?

Looking for Cold Cases for New Show "Soul Evidence"
I am working on a new TV show for SCI-FI called SOUL EVIDENCE. This is a project that I'm very excited about that assembles a powerful team of investigators to revisit unsolved murders.
The criteria to submit your case requires the following: Homicide had to be commited in the U.S.; The death MUST be ruled a homicide by the authorities; NO victims under the age of 18; Must be a case that has been shelved by the police. In other words a COLD CASE where the leads didn't pan out and need to be re-looked at. Usually this has occurred after several years have passed since the crime took place; the family of the victim must be the ones asking for help. We do not respond to strangers asking us to help the victim.
We would like to speak with the family members, not go through political red tape that can hold up an investigation. We will need anything on the case that is public record. The investigators purpose is to help bring an end to mysteries surrounding homicides and hand over our results to law enforcement for them to carry out justice for the victims family. Wish us luck on our endeavor and we look forward to producing life changing results. Please e-mail a description of your case and your contact information to:

Asked on Thursday, August 07, 2008 at 02:07:12 PM
Reply: Thank you for this excellent information!

I've just sent them an e-mail proposing Kait's case.

The timing for this is good, because there’s a “peg” they can hang the story on that might stimulate viewer interest. HOTEL FOR DOGS, an out-of-print children’s book I wrote in 1971, has just been filmed by Dreamworks as a major motion picture. It will be released to theaters in January 2009, and a revised, updated edition of the book will be released to book stores in November. That should lead to a lot of publicity which could help their ratings. That silly little book was Kait’s favorite of my stories when she was a little girl. How thrilled she would have been to have seen it on the Big Screen!

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Cold Case research
Question: I read about this group on and they are looking at the Levy and Holloway cases. Maybe they could help you? Copied from the website:

CNN is following four Bauder College students as they build their case files in the Chandra Levy and Natalee Holloway investigations. The following are logs each is keeping to document the cases. Sheryl McCollum is the director of the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute. The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of CNN, its affiliates or the schools where the campus correspondents are based. Got a tip? E-mail the class at

Asked on Wednesday, August 06, 2008 at 12:24:49 PM
Reply: Not only is this a great idea, but the head of the program has already been communicating with us about possibly using Kait's case as a project for future classes.

If any of you want to go to that Web site and submit your own suggestion that the Kait Arquette case might be a worthy subject for those dedicated students, that might help make it happen.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
I remember ...
Question: I was a junior in high school when this happened and remember it very vividly. Immediatly after, the whispers were for knowing too much about drug activites no matter what the media was 'saying'.

I hope that one day soon this will solved for you and your family.

Asked on Wednesday, August 06, 2008 at 04:51:06 AM
Reply: I wish that you and the others had contacted us at that time with your suspicions. If, in retrospect, you recall anything specific -- WHY students thought it was drug related, etc. -- please, send me a personal e-mail. Perhaps you could brainstorm about it with former classmates. Even at this late date, one of them might remember something.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Talley Keeper
Question: Are you not afraid if you name names in the Talley Keeper and tell the invormation that you got, that the killers will come after you?

Asked on Tuesday, August 05, 2008 at 04:21:06 PM
Reply: What good would that do them? Once information has been made public, there's nothing to gain by killing the person who supplied it. That would simply prove that the information was valid.

The most dangerous thing a person can do when he/she has information about criminal activity is to SIT ON THAT INFORMATION. That's what Kait did, and we believe that's what got her killed. She was a threat because she hadn't yet talked. She was a loose cannon.

On that subject -- I'm not as naive as Kait was in that regard. My agent and my attorney both have copies of THE TALLEY KEEPER (which include all the names and information you refer to above) and there's an additional copy in a safety deposit box. If I become the victim of a "random drive-by shooting," that book will not only get published, it will become an instant best seller because of the circumstances of the author's death.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: Hi Lois!
Question: Was Kait already working at Pier One when she met Dung? If so, do you think that the relationship could have been "planned" all along in order to get to Pier One? No doubt that Dung truly cared for her, but it is so odd that Pier One was the moving point for the bad shipments. From what you described of Kait (sounds very much like myself in 1989 at 19 yrs old) while being independant and liking a good adventure, I do not think she would intentionally get involved with that type of operation.
Also, it is possible to post some additional pics of her?
Thank you
your friend in CAPE CANAVERAL, FL

Asked on Tuesday, August 05, 2008 at 06:46:16 AM
Reply: Kait started working at Pier One in June, 1988. At that point she had been dating Dung for about nine months. So, their relationship wasn't "planned" so the Vietnamese group could get access to Pier One.

My personal belief is that it was the other way around -- the fact that one of their group had a girlfriend working at Pier One gave them the idea of utilizing Pier One as a place to receive shipments of drugs from the Orient without the manager's knowledge. Kait's coworkers say Dung's friends hung out there all the time, under the pretense of "visiting Kait," (which is odd in itself, since Kait couldn't stand them.)

I don't believe Kait realized she was being used in that way until a coworker found heroin in a shipment of fans and reported it to the FBI. Kait was killed immediately after that.

I'm not technical enough to know how to attach more pictures. Kait's sister, Robin, designed this Web site, so possibly she can do it. I'll ask her.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: In fact, I don't think you should wait for an "ending" (i.e. to find the murderer) before publishing the Tallykeeper: rather, I think the book will be the catalyst that BRINGS the murderer to justice. Maybe all of the people with puzzle pieces weren't around or involved with any of this in 1989, but became involved in aspects of this operation later, either by choice or by accident/coincidence. There could be people with information that seems insignificant and they have no reason to come forward with it now, but once the Tallykeeper is published, they will realize the importance of an overheard comment, a drunken confession, a confidence exchanged. Albuquerque is a big small town, and the center of power is very small. I think you have focused all you can (it seems) on those who were there and now it's time to focus on the people who have learned things after the fact, people who are now in their early to mid-30s and beginning to be a part of Albuquerque's legal and political community. As we know from the 2004 arrest of the chief judge, the courthouse community is closely intertwined with the criminal community. I truly believe this is where your answers will come from and that many of the puzzle pieces will come from one who does not at this moment realize the information they have.

Asked on Monday, August 04, 2008 at 12:52:05 PM
Reply: I totally agree.

I want to wait until the end of the year, because I have reason to believe that some things are going to happen in the next few months that I'd like to include in the book. But then it's probably time to start the submission process.

My problem is going to be finding a publisher who is willing to publish a SECOND book without an ending. The world of publishing has changed since WHO KILLED MY DAUGHTER? was published, and most publishers are reluctant to publish a true crime book until after the killers have been convicted.

I know in my heart that I'm going to find a publisher who is willing to go against convention, but it may take me a while.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
District Attorneys now Judges
Question: I re-read this book over the weekend and I noticed something interesting that I hadn\'t noticed before. Charlie Brown was the assistant district attorney who helped Bob Schwartz on this case when Schwartz was the D.A. for Bernalillo County. Now both men are judges in Bernalillo County. The name Charlie Brown wouldn't have meant anything to me last year, but now that he has been appointed to the bench, his name jumped off the page. Maybe it's just a coincidence that Brown and Schwartz, both of whom were involved in the failed prosecution of the triggermen, are both now sitting on the bench, but maybe not. It's interesting to note that both these judges are known for being very hard on the prosecution and are very critical of district attorneys -- I wonder why? Maybe because both of them know that the way the D.A.'s office works is not just or ethical, having come from that office. I would like to think that these are both good men, they have certainly been good judges thus far. If they do know anything, perhaps their new positions in the community will compel them to want to do justice now more than ever. Given all the changes in power in Albuquerque and the downfall of many corrupt figures, I think that when the Tallykeeper comes out, there will be much more information that comes from the community. People who were still in high school when this murder happened are now practicing lawyers, police officers, etc., and may have information they have gleaned over the years that doesn't mean anything to them NOW, but put in context of this story, it might be the missing piece to this puzzle.

Asked on Monday, August 04, 2008 at 12:43:17 PM
Reply: Bob Schwartz put his reputation on the line when he appeared on "Larry King Live" and announced to the nation that there was no possibility that Kait's murder was anything other than a "random driveby shooting." He can't afford to lose face by admitting he was wrong. And neither can Charlie Brown.

Albuquerque Journal, July 11, 1992

Bernalillo County District Attorney Bob Schwartz gets the "Working Smarter" award of the year.

"I've never been paid so well for 15 minutes of work," Schwartz joked of his appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live" show.

King invited Schwartz and Albuquerque author Lois Duncan to discuss the 1989 murder of Duncan's 18-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn Arquette.

"Ordinarily I work real cheap," Schwartz said, laughing. His salary is $67,500 a year, which he says breaks down to an hourly salary in the upper $30s or low $40s. Of course, Schwartz said, he didn't actually get paid to be on the show. But all his expenses were covered, including his plane ticket, cab fare, and two nights in the Bellevue Hotel on Capitol Hill ...

As a bonus, publicity-savvy Schwartz gained international exposure. In an impromptu phone interview last week, Schwartz reiterated that he didn't do the show for political or campaign reasons.

"But did I mind the exposure? Of course not. I hope it comes in handy. You never know."
Already he has received lots of back-pats from Albuquerqueans.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: Hi,
Im 14yrs old. The book caught my eye one day at school and while reading this book alot of questions popped into my head.

1. If Kait knew her killer couldnt it be possible that the reason Dung blamed himself was because he might have been in the car with the killers that night?
2. Do you believe that the police nay have been intimidated by the killers to stop the investigation?
3.Do you think that Kait's killer could have been the one behind the fraud accidents?

To get back to me directly heres my email:

Asked on Sunday, August 03, 2008 at 07:03:37 PM
Reply: In response to your questions:

(1) Yes, it's possible Dung could have been in the car with the killers. It's also possible he was in a different car, perhaps trying to find Kait to warn her, and observed the shooting. A third possibility is that he wasn't there in person, but was informed about it by someone who saw it happen. Which ever one of those three possibilities is accurate, what we do know for sure is that DUNG KNEW ABOUT THE SHOOTING AND WAS PHONING PEOPLE TO TELL THEM ABOUT IT BEFORE POLICE ARRIVED AT HIS APARTMENT AND (allegedly) WOKE HIM UP TO TELL HIM ABOUT IT.

(2) I doubt very much that the police were intimidated by the killers. A more likely possibilitiy is that a cop was actively involved in the killing, using the PITT technique to force her car off the road so she could be shot by someone on foot, and his cop friends were involved in the cover-up.

(3) When I wrote WHO KILLED MY DAUGHTER?, we did think Kait' was killed because of her knowledge of the car wreck scams in California. Now that we've received so much more information, we've come to believe that was the tip of the iceberg and Kait was killed because she had learned about a major drug operation that involved important people in New Mexico who were -- and probably still are -- protected by law enforcement. The Vietnamese may have been part of that operation, especially if it involved heroin from the Orient being shipped by UPS to Pier One Imports where Kait was employed and where Kait's boyfriend and his cronies hung out all the time in order to "visit Kait" and therefore were in a position to intercept those shipments. But we no longer think the car wreck scam was the motive.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
I visited this site again with great joy
Question: Lois, I have not visited much in the past year with my daughter in the Air Force getting married in a month but today I visited & read the postings with great joy to read the information posted to help you find Kait's murder's and to finally get the TALLY-KEEPER published when the story had an end. The posting from Rod have been a delight, and I suppose to you also. I have been coming to your site for years & today I feel you might be closer than ever.
I do pray for your finding out who was involved & who covered it up & see them in prison if not already there or dead. Please keep the info. coming for the Arquette's and I won't stop praying for you until you stop looking for the killers. Thanks for Rod's comments. I really felt joy to read them.

June From Denver
Proud Air Force Mom

Asked on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 05:25:59 PM
Reply: Thank you for your support. We, too, are glad that Rod is posting, as his experiences with Kait in the final days of her life may be more important than he realizes. And that goes for Kait's other friends as well. Search your minds for some little comment she may have let slip that meant nothing to you at the time but, in retrospect, might add a piece to this puzzle.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Mrs Arquette. . .
Question: Thank you DEEPLY for the quote below.

Its enigmatic what a soul suffers when your life is rocked by an event and you see EVERYTHING you KNOW you know to be true in this world is shattered, to reveal ugliness.

I too, know the angst and trepidation that comes with being on APDs hit list. The damage is irreparable and it only gets worse as the cover-ups & corruption continue. I feel so deeply for your family, but I promise Kait did not die in vain.

There’s a dark underworld in Abq. These people take lives & kill people. These criminals('VIPs'), are getting sloppy (making them more dangerous) and strategically planted officers are 'chatty'. Secrets are disclosed, bystanders see ‘errands’, PEOPLE TALK!

One-by-one, people here become aware. Exposure is shedding light on the chaos. Only with exposure will the mob will be deconstructed and people like me will see justice. Because people like you fight!

As I sit here sobbing, pouring it out, I know that today. . . I FIGHT TOO!!! I believe there’s something coming to save us. To eternalize Kait’s death at her final defiance against those who make her home, OUR home, a criminal play ground.

You Lois, say you're just a mother, are one helping lead the cause. YOU‘RE NOTHING LESS THAN A HERO TO THIS COMMUNITY. If nothing else, a hero to me.

And to Kait, ", too, will you have served unknowingly as an agent giving meaning to the lives of others..." and may your brave soul "...have lived the life you quite intended."

Thanks & God Bless You and Your Family

Asked on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 06:15:52 AM
Reply: Thank you for your kind message and emotional support.

I don't know if you are one of the mothers of the murdered children whose cases are posted on our Real Crimes Web site at -- (if so, then I already know you) -- but, if you're not, I would appreciate hearing from you by private e-mail. So many NM homicide cases are beginning to link to each other that each new story has the potential of starting the dominos tumbling.

What you have described as the current situation in Albuquerque matches very closely a reading by psychic Betty Muench in 1994:

"There will be for Lois the continuing battle to put these pieces together, but there will come those with high integrity who can be trusted (the Feds?) and they will work with what she will already have and this will aid her greatly in the finding of those who will have knowledge of Kait’s murder. Those will then be apprehended and with full confessions because there will be other pressures brought to bear that will involve their needing the protections of the authorities. Right now there is this group which is not understanding how things operate and they will be making their own rules, and when this will border on anarchy, then they will fall with truth coming out all around."

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: If you are looking at someone's financial situation, you don't need witnesses. Forensic accounting simply. Just look at whether or not they payed off a large debt, came into new property, etc. Not too hard. It's also been awhile since this murder happened. After twenty years you would be surprised at the number of pepole who will talk.

Asked on Friday, July 25, 2008 at 07:30:14 AM
Reply: If, as we suspect, the pay-off was in favors rather than money, that would not hold true.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Manny Aragon
Question: About owning. He's like the "Godfather" figure of the criminals in ABQ. The only reason he is estranged from his brother, Charles "Chuck" the one who recently got busted coming over the border from Mexico in June down in Las Cruces, is because Chuck is a sloppy criminal, befitting of his appearance. I'm sure he would bring too much attention to Manny Aragon. He does OWN the criminal justice system here in Albuquerque. And the reason it's taking so long to prosecute him is because he is working on getting all of his pawns in place before he goes to court. I'm sure he's counting on everything to get swept under HIS RUG.

In response to the criminal justice person who posted. The only way anyone would come forward is if they went into witness protection and that's if they're not dead already.

Asked on Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 10:53:32 AM
Reply: The person who will come to us with the truth about the murder and the cover-up will be a person who trusts me when I swear on Kait's name that we will never reveal his/her identity without permission.

We have never yet broken that promise to any of the many people who have come to us with bits and pieces of information that have helped fill in the gaps of this hideous jigsaw puzzle.

When we make a promise, we keep it.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Just a Thought

I'm a criminal justice person so I just wanted to contribute something to the case. I think it was more than likely done due to her knowledge of her boyfriend and his associates criminal activity (drugs, stolen cars, and insurance scam). If these individuals knew your daughter was breaking up with her boyfriend, they might be scared she was going to turn the authorities on to them. I also think that they KNEW where she would be that night. Her boyfriend would have had that information. Your daughter also seemed to be very afraid that evening. I wonder if her boyfriend had threatened her when she attempted to leave him.

Paul Apodaca was more than likely a hired hit man or in conspiracy with others to kill your daughter. That would explain his strange behavior the night of the crime and why witnesses placed his car at the scene. It is possible as well that an earlier attempt on your daughter\\\'s life was earlier that night (see Hispanics). He was also familiar with some of the members of the Vietnamese organized crime members.

I think either due to police mishandling or police misconduct this case was never solved. It would have been relatively easy to solve.

As for what your family can do, have y\\\'all ever thought about looking at whether or not Paul Apodaca or any of the other alleged hit men received any money or other forms of payment around the time of the killing? This might indicate there was a paid hit.

Another question: Did your daughter\\\'s boyfriend or any of his alleged criminal partners ever get arrested or implicated in any other criminal matters?

Asked on Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 05:10:48 AM
Reply: In answer to your last question, the Vietnamese in Albuquerque are almost never arrested for anything other than minor traffic violations.

The answer to your earlier question, about payment, may lie in the following excerpt from the (as yet unpublished) manuscript of THE TALLY KEEPER:

Here is that excerpt:

I went to the computer and pulled up information about Miguel Garcia. In February 1989, a warrant was issued for his arrest for “aggravated assault.” When I looked up the definition, it was, “An unlawful attack by one person upon another which results in severe or aggravated bodily injury and/or is accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.” That was a very strong charge. What had Miguel done? I went back to the database to read the report by the officer who had gone to his home to arrest him.

It said a complaint had been made that Miguel had thrown an unknown object at a truck.

That came nowhere near meeting the criterion for “aggravated assault.” However, the accusation of a felony, even if unfounded, had made it possible for that officer to obtain a warrant that allowed him to enter Miguel’s house. Surprisingly, though, the officer hadn’t arrested him. They’d apparently just had a chat and the cop had gone away. In his report he had listed an incorrect house number so that people who read the report wouldn’t know where Miguel lived.

Who was the cop who misrepresented the offense and then magnanimously let the fish off the hook? I caught my breath as I realized why the name was so familiar. That officer was Chris Padilla, the undercover narc who was the brother of Lee Padilla, the man Paul Apodaca had identified as the drug dealer he was in the area to visit when he happened upon the crime scene. Chris Padilla was also a good friend of Officer MaryAnn Wallace, the first officer dispatched to Kait's scene.

The implications of such a situation were overwhelming. We’d been told that narcs kept a stable of snitches who accepted assignments in exchange for favors. Miguel was in debt to this officer for not arresting him. Four months later, might he have been called to ante up?

But, even if Miguel had accepted an assignment to terrorize Kait, that didn’t mean that he killed her. When police raided his home, they had found a single action revolver loaded with blanks. That information, which had been withheld from Kait’s case file, was only revealed when Miguel’s attorney deposed the detective who submitted the firearm report. Blanks suggested intimidation, not murder.

Neither the Hispanic suspects' Camaro nor Paul Apodaca’s VW was a large enough vehicle to ram Kait's car with such force that it jumped the median and ended up on the opposite sidewalk. But a police car easily could have done that, especially if the Hispanics had been set up to take the blame for the murder.

That scenario became even more plausible when I read the name of the “victim” whose truck Miguel allegedly had pelted. He was a member of the family who collected the Crime Stopper’s reward for turning Miguel in.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Manny Aragon
Question: He also OWNS the rug that his crimes and those of his colleagues get swept under.

And he OWNS the people who do the sweeping.

He OWNS APD. And did so at the time of Kait's murder, when he was president pro tem of the NM State Senate.

Asked on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 03:13:19 PM
Reply: According to an article in the Albuquerque Journal, he was also a close friend and business partner of Jerry Padilla Sr., a three-time convicted heroin dealer. On the year of Kait’s death, Padilla was sentenced to ninety-six months in federal prison. Padilla and his family head Los Padillas, the most dangerous street gang in New Mexico, known for their widespread distribution of heroin and the murder of anybody who gets in their way.

Answered by: Kait's Mom

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