Suspect arrested in death of Thoreau teacher

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

GALLUP, March 20, 2014

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The McKinley County Sheriff's Office and the FBI are reporting that a suspect has been arrested in the death of a Thoreau preschool teacher who had been reported missing two weeks ago.

James Maiorano, undersheriff for the McKinley County Sheriff's Office, said Wednesday that Kevin Martinez, 21, has been turned over to the FBI in connection with the death of Leslie Morgan, 45, who was reported missing on March 5 from his home in Thoreau, Morgan's body was found on the Navajo Reservation Friday near Gallup after Martinez was picked up on a misdemeanor bench warrant. Federal charges are pending but Martinez has been charged by the sheriff's office with possession of a stolen vehicle and tampering with evidence.

According to a press release put out by the sheriff's office, Morgan's vehicle was stopped near Prewitt, driven by a man who falsely identified himself as Tyshawn Anderson.

Law enforcement officials at that time let him go since Morgan had not been reported missing and the vehicle had not been reported stolen.

But once Morgan's family reported him missing, police were able to identify Anderson as Martinez and arrest him on the bench warrant. Martinez, during interviews, led police to where the car had been abandoned at the Chuska apartments.

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