Woman arrested for hiding suspects

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A second woman was arrested in connection with harboring two suspects who police say were involved in the kidnapping and murder of a 28-year-old Los Lunas man last month.

Loretta Apodaca, 40, was arrested at a Belen residence on Nov. 29 on two counts of aiding and abetting a felon after police say she paid for a motel room for brothers Andrew Gallegos and Joe Lawrence Gallegos.

The men are charged with an open count of murder, kidnapping and arson following an incident where the body of Adrian Burns was found by a volunteer firefighter near a burning vehicle in Bernardo near U.S. 60 and N.M. 304 on Nov. 12.

An anonymous source tipped off officials about the men's whereabouts, and by that evening, officials arrested the pair at the Imperial Inn Motel, near Central Avenue and Broadway Boulevard.

According to New Mexico State Police Lt. Tim Johnson, Apodaca was arrested at a family member's home at the 200 block of Vivian Road after police learned she paid for the suspects to stay at the motel. He said she was hiding in a closet when police arrived.

Johnson said the woman paid $175 cash to rent the motel room for seven days.

"Through investigation, we learned that she rented the room on Nov. 17," Johnson said.

The lieutenant would not say if there could be more arrests in connection with the case.

Another woman, Charlene Baldazar, 31, was arrested and charged aiding and abetting a felon and was with the men when they were arrested on Nov. 20.


-- Email the author at bruffner@news-bulletin.com.