By Diana Washington Valdez
Copyright © 2016 The Digie Zone
EL PASO, TEXAS - A truck driver who used to belong to El Salvador's military special forces allegedly could be linked to serial crimes of girls and women in El Paso, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, according to a Crime Stoppers tip included in court documents related to the appeal of Texas death row inmate David Leonard Wood.
The tip, which is part of the Crime Stoppers report, refers to Wood's case and to the West Mesa murders of Albuquerque.
The report states that the victim or victims of the alleged suspect, whose last name in the Crime Stoppers report is Cota, were nicknamed "Mimi" and "Chocolate."
New Mexico authorities had identified one of the 11 victims that were found in shallow graves in Albuquerque's West Mesa in 2009 as Syllannia Edwards, whom police stated may have used the nicknames "Mimi" and "Chocolate."
The West Mesa case remains unsolved.
Edwards, who was 15 years old, was reported missing in 2003 in Lawton, Oklahoma. Police there said they considered her an endangered runaway.
Police said she was also seen in Aurora, Colorado in May of 2004, and may have associated with prostitutes in that city. It is not known when and how Edwards traveled to Albuquerque.
"Edwards) was killed sometime between 2004 and 2005 and then buried in a mesa located adjacent to 118th Street SW in Albuquerque," police authorities stated.
"(The Cota) suspect would lure the females with narcotics," the tipster told Crime Stoppers.
"State of Texas v. David Leonard Wood is currently pending litigation. Per Office of the Attorney General policy, we cannot comment on this case at the time," Lovvorn stated.
No further comment was available due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.
The suspect reportedly worked as an interstate 18-wheel truck driver, and had lived in Albuquerque and West Oakland, California.
Police said the West Mesa victims had disappeared between 2003 and 2004. They were Jamie Barela, Monica Candelaria,Victoria Chavez, Virginia Cloven, Syllannia Edwards, Cinnamon Elks, Doreen Marquez, Julie Nieto, Veronica Romero, Evelyn Salazar, and Michelle Valdez, who was pregnant.
The bodies were unearthed after a couple and their dog came upon human bones while walking in the West Mesa.
Interstate 40 (east-west) and Interstate 25 (north-south) both cut across Albuquerque.
FBI officials said the initiative, which involves collaboration with local law enforcement, has led to arrests in some of the cases they investigated.
|David Leonard Wood|