Nearly a decade ago, the remains of 11 women who disappeared in New Mexico in the early 2000s were found buried in shallow graves in what's become the state's largest unsolved serial killing. As macabre as it was, police immediately suspected more graves remained hidden, given the unsolved disappearances of multiple women of similar backgrounds (linked to drugs and prostitution) between 2005 and 2006. Now, in what could be a major break, a construction crew uncovered human remains under a foot of earth Tuesday while building a park on Albuquerque's West Mesa. Described as a dirt mound frequented by kids, the site is a half-mile south of the original burial site, which it was once linked to by a dry creek, per the Albuquerque Journal.
At least one body has been fully excavated. "We certainly understand and are concerned this might be one of the six to eight missing women," Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller tells KOAT. "There's enough there to cause concern," adds Police Chief Michael Geier, noting the scene gave him the feeling of "deja vu." The Journal describes the similarities between the two sites as "striking." Still, authorities haven't found evidence linking the find to the West Mesa Murders. If it's there, it could take weeks for investigators to spot it. In the meantime, as they await approval from utility companies for further digs, "we're hoping that this might be a new development that could be a positive lead … in identifying the offenders," Geier says. KRQE has more on two "prime suspects," one of whom is still living. (Read more New Mexico stories.)