'I Don't Want to Live Life Anymore Without Confessing'

Tony Peralta told police he couldn't live with the guilt of killing landlord 15 years ago
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 31, 2023 11:43 AM CDT
He Got Away With Murder, Then Called 911 to Confess: Cops
In this screenshot from body camera video, Tony Peralta leans against a police vehicle after turning himself in to authorities in Roswell, New Mexico, on May 1.   (Roswell Police Department via AP)

Police officers found Tony Peralta earlier this month sitting on a curb not far from the convenience store in a small southeastern New Mexico community where he borrowed a cellphone—so he could call 911 and confess to killing his landlord 15 years earlier. Sweating and taking puffs from his cigarette, he told them he's tired of covering it up, tired of living with the lie, and tired of being overwhelmed by guilt. He agreed to take the officers to where he buried the body before standing up and volunteering to be cuffed. Police in Roswell released the 911 recording and nearly an hour of officer body camera video in response to a records request filed by the AP. The May 1 footage shows Peralta repeatedly thanking the officers for picking him up.

"I confess, man. I confess. I don't want to live life anymore without confessing," he said while sitting in an interview room at police headquarters. The uniformed officers and detectives who talked with Peralta peppered him with questions about when the killing happened, how he did it, and why. Peralta kept answering that he didn't know or didn't remember, acknowledging that he'd been drinking "a lot" the day he called 911. Peralta, 37, was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of first-degree murder but didn't attend the hearing. He pleaded not guilty to the charge through his public defender, Ray Conley, who has said he'll ensure Peralta's due process is respected as the case moves through court. A judge on Tuesday set Peralta's trial for October but said that date could change.

At times, the authorities asked if Peralta was making up the story and leading them on a goose chase, as he wasn't providing many details. "There's a dead body in there, dude!" he told one officer while in the back of a patrol car parked in front of the home he once shared with 69-year-old William Blodgett, last seen by family in December 2008. Investigators said they obtained a search warrant and found a boot, bones, and dentures after removing plywood floorboards from a detached room on the side of the house. The dentures were compared with Blodgett's dental records and that led to a positive identification, according to police. Peralta told an officer that Blodgett was a good man and that he took his life for no reason while high on methamphetamine. "I don't have an excuse," he said. (More confession stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.