NMSP says man admits to killing wife with axe in New Mexico forest

State & Regional

Image of Armando Zamora from New Mexico State Police

SILVER CITY, N.M. — On Wednesday, New Mexico State Police (NMSP) released updated information in the case of a missing woman — saying she died at the hands of her husband. NMSP said he admitted to beating his wife with an axe. He was already on probation, officials said, for criminal sexual contact with a 13-year-old.

NMSP said the incident occurred on the morning of Sunday, September 26, 2021. Erica Zamora was reported missing on Friday, October 1.

Authorities questioned her husband, Armando Zamora, who said the couple went to cut firewood on that Sunday morning. Zamora said he dropped his wife off at her residence on the morning of Tuesday, September 28, and returned to his residence.

NMSP learned that Armando was on probation and was required to wear an ankle monitor. Using GPS data from the monitor, investigators were able to locate coordinates of the forest.

“A sergeant searched the area and located a deceased female matching the description of Erica Zamora. The female was pronounced dead by the Office of the Medical Investigator and was positively identified as Erica Zamora,” a press release said.

Armando was interviewed again by investigators on October 3. During the interview, he admitted to beating his wife to death with an axe.

Armando was arrested and charged with murder.

Images of Armando And Erica Zamora from New Mexico State Police

The following is a press release from New Mexico State Police:

On Friday, October 1, 2021, the New Mexico State Police in Silver City received a report of a missing person, Erica Zamora who had not been seen or heard from since September 26, 2021. The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was called to investigate the incident.

Through the investigation, agents learned that on the morning of Sunday, September 26, 2021, Erica and her husband, Armando Zamora went to cut firewood in the forest. According to Mr. Zamora, they returned to his house and he dropped Erica off at her residence at approximately 7:30 a.m., on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.

Agents learned Armando was currently on probation for criminal sexual contact of a minor (under 13) and wears an ankle monitor. With that information, New Mexico State Police investigators obtained GPS coordinates where Armando and Erica had been cutting wood. A sergeant searched the area and located a deceased female matching the description of Erica Zamora. The female was pronounced dead by the Office of the Medical Investigator and was positively identified as Erica Zamora.

Agents interviewed Armando on October 3, 2021. During the interview, Armando admitted to beating Erica to death with an axe.

Armando was arrested and charged with an open count of murder. He was booked into the Grant County Detention Center without incident.

This homicide investigation remains active and ongoing as Investigation Bureau agents continue to gather all relevant evidence, interviews, and information. Throughout the process, investigative findings will be shared with the Sixth Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

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