Police: Suspect in family's killings tried to steal $20,000

AP News
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Posted: Feb 17, 2015 2:23 PM

EL RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police say a man suspected of killing a couple and their adult son nearly four years ago tried to steal $20,000 from the family who had previously let him stay in their home.

Nicholas Ortiz is jailed Tuesday on three counts of murder and other charges after a judge rejected his parents' request to have him released. They said during a preliminary hearing Monday that Ortiz had cooperated with police.

Investigators say 53-year-old Dixie Ortiz, 55-year-old Lloyd Ortiz and their special-needs son, 21-year-old Steven Ortiz, were found dead from head trauma in their home in El Rancho, north of Santa Fe, on June 29, 2011.

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Police later discovered a blood-stained pickax in a nearby field and linked the weapon to the killings.

There's no indication the suspect is related to the victims.