Española Police Department Officers Monica Salazar and Adam Moya on Jan. 5 responded to a “man down” call at Cooks Trailer Court and found a man later identified as Victor Romero, 58, of Cordova lying on the street in front of space number 87.
Romero was lying on his back, both arms outstretched with no shoes on. His shoes were lying together about a foot away from his right foot.
According to Salazar’s incident report, three people were near Romero. One of the witnesses, Samantha Carlson, told Salazar she had attempted a sternum rub but Romero did not respond. Moya also attempted a sternum rub with the same results.
The Emergency Medical Services manual defines a sternum rub as the application of painful stimulae with the knuckles of a closed fist to the center chest of a patient who is not alert and does not respond to verbal stimuli.
Medical personnel arrived and tried to revive Romero but were unsuccessful.
Salazar wrote in her report that while the officers waited for a detective to arrive, she noticed a white Dodge pickup with its engine running between spaces 88 and 89.
“I looked around the truck and noticed that the back end of the truck appeared to have damaged the fence between the two homes, and it also appeared to have knocked a small trailer off of concrete blocks and push it into a travel trailer,” Salazar wrote.
The truck’s back-up lights were on and the officers assumed it was in reverse.
No one from space 89 would come to the door when Salazar knocked. She did not state if officers knocked on the door at space 88.
After Moya ran the license plate on the truck, they identified the dead man as Victor Romero. He also determined the truck’s gears were in neutral.
An unspecified time later the occupants of the trailer in space 87 came out to talk to the officers and told them the man’s identity. Shirley Montoya, 57, was the dead man’s ex-wife and Randy Romero, 32, was his son.
“They stated they had reason to believe the male in the roadway was Montoya’s ex-husband and Randy Romero’s father,” Salazar wrote.
Montoya said Victor Romero was supposed to come get Randy Romero to go to Walmart. She told Salazar she saw the truck pull up to her trailer then saw it reverse away, “not reversing too fast or too slow.”
She said she did not see Victor Romero in or out of the vehicle. Randy Romero left to get pizza and Montoya said she was scared of the area, kept the door locked and would not go out.
Both mother and son said they could see from their window the truck sitting by space 89.
Detectives Zack Wright and Isaiah Anaya took over the investigation. New Mexico State Police took photos and processed the scene.