Las Cruces family of 2017 murder victim responds to Apodaca Park murder confession

Local

Editor’s Note: This story contains graphic descriptions of the crime.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) — The family of a 2017 Las Cruces murder victim responded to the confession of a man who is accused of brutally murdering a 51-year-old man at Apodaca Park in Las Cruces on Sunday.

According to court documents, Joel Arciniega-Saenz is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 51-year-old James Garcia, whose body was found Sunday. Arciniega-Saenz reportedly decapitated the victim and kicked his head at 14 different cars.

LCPD officers arrested him in 2017 in connection to the murder of 21-year-old Benjamin Montoya at a Las Cruces motel. Those charges were later dismissed.

Benjamin Montoya, Courtesy Krystal Montoya

The Montoya family responded to seeing Arciniega-Saenz arrested for another murder and confessing to it.

Krystal Montoya, Benjamin’s sister, told KTSM 9 News that she felt sick when she saw the news, adding that she feels the Apodaca Park murder could have been avoided.

“I was very shocked that he confessed. He confessed to this but he couldn’t confess to other things that he’s done. And, especially what he did back in 2017 to my brother,” Montoya said.

She said she has been wanting justice for her brother’s murder.

“I’ve had some people say ‘oh, justice was served for your brother.’ He’s behind bars. But, I mean, there’s never going to be any justice for what he’s done to my family and the family of the person he killed on Monday.”

Benjamin Montoya, Courtesy Krystal Montoya

Montoya said she hopes this time Arciniega-Saenz will remain behind bars and away from society.

“He’s not an honest human being, but I wish he would search deep inside for honesty and say ‘hey, I did this, I am sorry,” Montoya said.

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