LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – A woman’s remains were found in a natural preserve in Doña Ana County, according to the sheriff’s office.
Law enforcement believes the woman was from Oregon State and was reported missing on April 13 after family reported not hearing from her. Her remains were found in the Aden Lava Flow Wilderness during a response to a call for assistance from the public, earlier this week.
The woman is believed to be Natasha Nelson, who stopped responding to phone calls and text messages. Family became concerned and reported her missing to the Milwaukie Police Department in Oregon.
Shortly after she was reported missing, police say investigators from the sheriff’s office began searching for her on foot and ATV. U.S. Border Patrol provided air support and cadaver K-9’s to aid in the search for Nelson.
Investigators spoke with campers in the area and advised them that she had been missing and requested they inform police if they saw anything.
A day later, campers who spoke with law enforcement said they found what were possibly decomposing human remains not too far from where Nelson was last seen camping.
The remains were found approximately a quarter of a mile away from Nelson’s vehicle.
Authorities say the Office of Medical Investigators are running an autopsy on the remains and cannot confirm whether they belong to Nelson. Investigators have reached out to Nelson’s family who live in Oregon.
The sheriff’s office say the case is being treated as a possible crime until foul play can be ruled out.