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The Killing Season - Websleuths

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  1. #1
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    NM - Katie Sepich, 22, Las Cruces, 31 August 2003

    What was hoped to be a monetary spark to get the Katie Sepich case going has failed.

    A $100,000 reward for information leading to the killer of the New Mexico State University student expires at midnight Tuesday.

    The reward will now drop back to $10,000.

    The Sepich family upped the reward back in August in hopes of generating new information about the case.

    Katie Sepich was killed in August 2003 and no arrests have ever been made.

    http://www.kfoxtv.com/news/5334331/d...s=elp&psp=news

  2. #2
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    Investigators insist murder still solvable

    Submitted by admin on Wed, 2005-05-18 05:06.

    Carlsbad Current-Argus Investigators insist murder still solvable

    LAS CRUCES Katie Sepich took a long walk the night she died.

    The New Mexico State University student left a party on Los Misioneros on Las Cruces' East Mesa without her keys and cell phone in the early hours of Aug. 31, 2003. She was drunk, with a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit if she were driving. She walked, at about 3:30 to 4 a.m., through residential neighborhoods to her house, which was about three-quarters of a mile away.

    That's where police believe she was abducted before being raped and killed.

    Investigators are left without a suspect after the recent announcement that DNA analysis has eliminated a man charged in a similar case in Wisconsin ? Juan Robert Nieto, 23, of Green Bay, Wis. ? as the Sepich killer. They insist, however, that the case is active and still solvable, and are making a renewed call for anyone who might have seen Sepich that night to come forward.

    ?I'm very hopeful,? said Do��na County Sheriff's Department Capt. Robert Jones, the lead investigator on the case.

    We want to talk to anybody who knows anything, and who even saw her in passing that night, county spokesman Jess Williams said.

    Minutes after leaving the party, the 22-year-old Sepich reached Roadrunner Parkway and walked south past Veterans Memorial Park, past an empty field and an apartment complex that at the time was under construction. She turned west on Frontier Drive and reached her home a few moments later.

    There are only a few streetlights along the route Sepich took. At that hour, a few vehicles might have passed her, but not many.

    Without her keys, Sepich attempted to break into her house through a window that is surrounded by bushes but still easily visible from the street and nearby houses.

    Police believe that's when someone grabbed her. She had removed the screen but not yet gotten the window open. In the graveled front yard, investigators found signs of a struggle, and both of Sepich's shoes.

    Her body was found partially burned at the old dump near MountainView Regional Medical Center later that day.

    Sepich began the night partying at a bar on Valley Drive, The Brew, which was then called Brew Ha Ha, from about 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. She then got a ride to the party on Los Misioneros, and spent at least an hour there before her fateful walk home.

    The investigation into her death has been extensive and costly. DNA testing, at a cost of more than $30,000, has eliminated more than 80 people as suspects, though Williams said it's still possible some of them might know something about what happened that night.

    District Attorney Susana Martinez said her office will continue to pay for DNA testing.

    The money is not an object when it comes to solving a crime,? she said.

    From DNA analysis, investigators know that the killer is 51 percent Hispanic or American Indian, 33 percent European and 16 percent Subsaharan African.

    Jones said he is considering all possibilities at this point. Maybe the killer was someone who knew Sepich. Maybe he was someone driving down Roadrunner Parkway who saw her walking. Maybe he was hanging out at the park and spotted the drunken college student on her trek home. Maybe he was a neighbor.

    Jones and Williams said investigators are actively pursuing other leads, but can't release details. They are still receiving new tips.

    One bright spot is that, sometime in the near future, the Fox Network's ?America's Most Wanted? will feature the Sepich murder for a second time. Williams and Jones said they both expect that will lead to even more tips. The first time the program aired, a tip led to the arrest of Nieto.

    Also interesting are recent comments made by a man who was Sepich's boyfriend at the time of her death. Joe Bischoff, in a recent interview with Cosmopolitan magazine, said Sepich left the party that night because they had argued. He said before leaving she searched at the party for her purse, keys and cellular phone, but could not find them.

    That contradicted what he told investigators ? that he did not know when or why Sepich left the party.

    It's interesting to us any time there are inconsistencies in a story,? Williams said.

    Bischoff's attorney, Carmen Garza of Las Cruces, said if investigators want to talk with her client, the district attorney can contact her.

    Martinez said homicide cases never close until they're solved.

    There's always something that can happen that stirs the case back up,? she said.

    More: http://websleuths.com/forums/newrepl...ote=1&p=882451

  3. #3
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    http://www.kfoxtv.com/news/10592247/detail.html

    (I can find no date on article itself, but it postdates 2006 IMHO by comparing previous article dates linked to the side of this one)

    Police said Gabriel Adrian Avila, 27, confessed after his DNA matched DNA found on Sepich's body. Avila is being charged with capital murder and rape.
    http://www.amw.com/fugitives/capture.cfm?id=28946
    Some details about Katie's case.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katie's_Law
    Katie's law.

    Anyone know if Avila has been tried for Katie's murder yet? TIA

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat View Post


    Anyone know if Avila has been tried for Katie's murder yet? TIA
    I don't think there was a trial. He plead out to various counts including First Degree Murder, First Degree Kidnapping, 2 counts of Criminal Sexual Penetration and Tampering with Evidence.

    The final dispo on the case was on 5/3/07. Looks like he got life for the murder charge. 18 years on the kidnapping, 9 years on both rape counts and 3 years on the tampering with evidence.

    Sorry, I cannot post the screen shot of the database I read the info from. Hope this answers your question.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2007
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    Found this also:

    FOX News - Politics - State & Local News - Pennsylvania Considers ...
    Pennsylvania Considers Bill Requiring Pre-Trial DNA Testing ... killed in August 2003 by Gabriel Avila, who's now serving a 69-year prison sentence for her murder.
    ~JMO~

    A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart. ~Author Unknown


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