Sunday, September 6, 2009

Murder Victims' Families Endorsing Lopez

Updated: 12:30p

Dan Valdez thought he was the only one grieving for a missing daughter for the past five years.

Little did he know that by the end of March seven other families in the Albuquerque area would learn that their daughters, sisters, and cousins had also been murdered and buried on the West Mesa.

In all, eleven woman, and one unborn child (Valdez' grandchild) were unearthed at the city's largest crime scene earlier this Spring.

Now, the families of the murdered women, are rallying behind Senator Linda Lopez' bid to become the state's next lieutenant governor.

Yesterday, Valdez endorsed Sen. Lopez, in this speech, at Washington Park.

Valdez told Lopez' supporters that the senator has help families make connections at the Peanut Butter & Jelly Family Services. He said meeting with the other families has been an extraordinary part of the healing process for himself. He said everyone has become like an extended family that shares stories, cries together, and hug.

He credited Lopez for her work getting the Albuquerque Public School system to donate computers to the victims' children and for setting up a meeting for families with Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz last week. He said it was the first time they sat down with the chief for a question and answer session.

Children of West Mesa Murder Mystery mothers went on a $215
JC Penny Shopping Spree before heading back to school.

He also praised Lopez for working with City Councilor Ken Sanchez and K-B Homes to get land donated at the grave site for a permanent memorial to the victims.

Valdez notified the crowd that he will be an advocate and rally lawmakers, during the next session, to update what he calls "outdated laws" regarding the reporting and tracking of adults missing in the community. He said, "missing women, should never be on the backburner, or put in a cold case file."

Also speaking at Saturday's announcement were Tamaya Wiener and State Representative Henry "Kiki" Saavadra. You can listen to their remarks here.

Wiener said Lopez understands issues that working moms have. Wiener also praised Lopez for taking care of her 98-year old mother at the same time taking care of her son Lorenzo, and said she respects Lopez for her support of bi-lingual education.

Rep. Saavadra said the state is in for some hard times, but they are each committed to helping state employees and teachers around the state. He called Lopez one of the brightest. "She thinks well....she takes a few minutes, but when she speaks everyone listen because she's usually right."

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