Deadly Dona Ana home invasion investigation could take months
POSTED: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 8:03pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 8:04pm
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — It's been three weeks since the deadly home invasion in Dona Ana and Wednesday the district attorney's office said it could be 'months' before a final decision is made on more charges.
It was in the early morning hours New Year's Day when sheriff's investigators say a group of four men and two women drove to the home of Joe Torrez to settle a previous argument.
Investigators said the men allegedly forced their way inside where it appears there was a fight.
Emergency dispatch calls show the fight appeared to go from inside to outside where deputies said they found Sal Garces, 25, dead with multiple stab wounds and head injuries when they arrived.
"We need answers," said Martin Dimas, Garces's uncle. "His mother needs to let him go in peace."
The big question for the Garces family and MMA fighter Joe Torrez is whether Torrez will face charges in Garces's death.
Third Judicial District Attorney Mark D'Antonio said it could be two months before that decision is made pending the completion of the investigation and the processing of key pieces of evidence.
"It's when I have a full and complete picture of what happened that day and I merit the facts with the law, then I will make a decision on how to proceed further," D'Antonio said.
The sheriff's department said there are also delays with the crime lab being located in Santa Fe and evidence must be driven to the lab in person.
But while the investigation continues, the parties involved are finding it difficult to move on.
"I'm scared that she's going to breakdown at any minute and it's not supposed to be like that," Dimas said. "I want her to have have peace."
Dimas said Garces's mother has been suffering the most while the decision is made on possible charges.
The wait has also been difficult on Joe Torrez.
Attorney C.J. McElhinney said his client has also not been able to move on with his life with the possibility of charges.
D'Antonio said it's unfortunate how the case has played out in the media but public perception will not play into his decision on who should be charged.
"We're going to do what is just and right by all the parties concerned," D'Antonio said.