Skip to main content
Press Release

Espanola Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Luis Mariscal-Lopez pled guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Mariscal-Lopez, 25, of Espanola, will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

According to court records, on January 14, 2018, Mariscal-Lopez and Jorge Dominguez, 28, of Espanola, conspired with Crystal Ramos, deceased, and another individual to kidnap, assault and murder Jane Doe because she stole and used Ramos’ ATM card. To that end, Ramos and the fourth individual lured Jane Doe from Buffalo Thunder Casino to Ramos’ house within the exterior boundaries of Santa Clara Pueblo where Mariscal-Lopez and Dominguez lay in wait. When Jane Doe entered the house, the group assaulted her, tied her to a chair and confined her to a bedroom where they had laid down plastic on the floor and walls. Mariscal-Lopez and Dominguez, and the others, continued to assault Jane Doe with various objects including a rifle butt and an axe handle, strangled her, and Ramos used a drill in her side until Jane Doe died. The group then wrapped Jane Doe’s body in plastic and loaded it into the trunk of a car.

A few days later, Ramos, Mariscal-Lopez, Dominguez and Johnny Black drove to a remote location near Velarde, New Mexico and attempted to dismember Jane Doe’s body with a chainsaw but were unsuccessful. Instead, they dug two shallow pits and set Jane Doe’s remains on fire. When the group noticed a helicopter in the air near their location, they extinguished the fire, moved Jane Doe’s remains to a toolbox and drove back to the house, where they poured concrete over her remains and left it stored in the garage.

Jane Doe was reported missing and her case was investigated as missing person case. A detective interviewed Ramos about Jane Doe’s disappearance in March of 2018. Following the interview, the toolbox was removed from Ramos’ house and buried near the Rio Ojo Caliente, north of Espanola. Statements made to law enforcement during an unrelated investigation led to the recovery of Jane Doe’s partial remains.

Johnny Black pled guilty on April 8, 2020, to using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and being an accessory after the fact in relation to the disposal of Jane Doe’s remains. Black was sentenced to 171 months in prison. Crystal Ramos died in a shootout with police in Denver, Colorado on June 14, 2018.

The FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Espanola Police Department, Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, Bureaus of Indian Affairs, and New Mexico State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Nicholas J. Marshall and Caitlin L. Dillon are prosecuting the case.

# # #


Updated November 2, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-257