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Albuquerque police have made a second arrest in a year-old murder that involved a group of armed robbers who used Snapchat to lure at least two victims.
Anna Dukes, 18, was arrested by Albuquerque police on Monday for the murder of Elias Otero, 24, on Feb. 11, 2021 as well as the armed robbery and kidnapping of the deceased man's brother Nicholas Otero, 20, the Albuquerque police announced.
A warrant for Dukes' arrest and that of the alleged shooter, her boyfriend Adrian Avila, 17, was issued by police just before Christmas, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Avila turned himself in on Dec. 27, police said.
Dukes is being held on one charge of murder in the first degree (willful & deliberate), one charge of first-degree kidnapping, two charges of armed robbery, one charge conspiracy to commit a felony and one charge of tampering with evidence, according to prison records. She is currently held without bail.
According to an arrest warrant reviewed by the Journal, a woman called 911 to the Otero home shortly before 2:20 a.m. on Feb. 11 last year, saying her brother had been shot. When they arrived, they found Elias Otero, shot, lying in the street outside the home. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Near his body, they found three pistols and a rifle. Relatives told them that three armed men had arrived with Nicolas Otero in his red Lexus and another car, demanding money. One of them shot Elias Otero, a former corrections officer, when he exited the home with his own gun.
Nicholas Otero's car was found, wrecked and abandoned, a couple blocks from the scene.
Nicolas Otero, who had escaped during the shooting, told police that he'd picked up a girl he'd met on Snapchat in his Lexus some time after midnight, and the two drove to Alvarado Park. He "became uneasy," according to police, after the girl began complimenting his "diamond-encrusted necklace," the Journal reported at the time of Avila's arrest, and asked him if he had any guns and where he kept his money.
When they stopped at the park, he noticed that her phone showed she was on a call — and that, presumably, somebody else had been listening to the entire conversation — just before three armed suspects pulled up in another vehicle right behind his.
The three forced Nicolas Otero to exit his car at gunpoint, and one held a gun on him — begging the others to let him shoot the victim, Otero said — while the other two searched his car.
"They stripped him down. They took his credit cards and took whatever he had on him, but they wanted more money," the victim's mother, Alicia Otero, told Albuquerque CBS affiliate KKTV.
The robbers then forced Nicolas Otero back in his car and drove both his car and the other vehicle to the home he shared with his family.
There, police say, the robbers forced Nicolas to call his brother Elias and demand that he bring the armed robbers $1,000 and a gun.
Elias Otero did exit the residence with a gun — one with which he threatened to shoot the man driving his brother's car and holding Nicolas at gunpoint.
That man, police say, was Dukes' boyfriend Avila, who allegedly proceeded to shoot Elias Otero. Alicia Otero, told Albuquerque ABC affiliate KOAT that her son was shot five times.
Police were able to identify the woman who lured Nicolas Ortero to Alvarado Park as Dukes via her Snapchat account, which then linked her phone to the park, Otero's house and Avila's residence, according to the Journal. Her Snapchat account revealed that she had been chatting with another man the night before the Oteros' kidnapping and murder; police said that man had been carjacked the night before while on their "date." It was his car the robbers used on the night they targeted Nicolas Otero; it was also found abandoned the morning after the shooting.
Police have yet to identify or issue warrants for the other two people involved in the carjackings and robberies.
After Avila's arrest, Alicia Otero told Albuquerque NBC affiliate KOB that the family was pleased with the progress on the case.
"My husband and I were in tears and we found out," she told the station. "We're just all so happy about it."
"I made a promise to my son that I was going to fight for him," she told KOB after Avila's first court appearance. "I am not going to let them get away and I plan to keep my promise."
After Dukes' arrest, she told the station: "Knowing they finally turned themselves in just, it feels good that it's not gonna go unsolved."
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