Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2004
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
CRM
(202) 514-2008
TDD (202) 514-1888

NEW MEXICO MAN CHARGED WITH MURDERING MOTHER ON INDIAN RESERVATION


WASHINGTON, D.C.- A Magistrate Judge in the District of New Mexico ordered the pre-trial detention of Louis P. Romero, recently charged with the murder of his 71 year-old mother, the Justice Department announced today.

A criminal complaint was filed on Feb. 3rd, charging Louis P. Romero, age 44 of Laguna, New Mexico with murdering his mother, Maria Sophia Romero. The defendantís mother was missing for several days but the defendant did not report her missing. It was not until friends and other family members became concerned that another son of Mrs. Romero filed a police report.

During the missing person investigation, law enforcement authorities discovered traces of what appeared to be blood in the residence that the defendant shared with his mother. Additionally, officers, through the assistance of cadaver dogs, detected human bone fragments among ashes in several locations on the defendantís property. Other items recovered outside the defendantís residence include jewelry frequently worn by the victim.

The maximum punishment that Mr. Romero faces is a term of imprisonment not to exceed life, a fine of $250,000 and three years court-supervised release.

The law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Laguna Police Department, Special Agents of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and New Mexico State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Jerry Massie, a Trial Attorney from the Domestic Security Section of the United States Department of Justice.

A complaint contains allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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