2009: A year of crimes against women, children

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By The Staff

ALBUQUERQUE — Women and children were the victims of high-profile cases statewide in 2009, a tragic year that saw 11 sets of human remains discovered on a desert mesa and a young mother accused of suffocating her 3-year-old son and burying him beneath a playground.

The year began with the discovery in February of human remains buried on a 92-acre subdivision plot, which police dubbed the nation’s largest crime scene.

Weeks of painstaking work revealed 11 women and a fetus had been dumped there between 2003 and 2005. Despite a $100,000 reward, police do not have any suspects.

Elsewhere in New Mexico, four teens died in June in a collision with a suspected drunk driver in Santa Fe County; a then-10-year-old boy was accused of fatally shooting his father at his Belen home in August; and an 18-year-old man is accused of killing a 64-year-old nun, whose body was found Nov. 1, in the town of Navajo.

There were more murders in Albuquerque this year than in 2008, Albuquerque police spokeswoman Nadine Hamby said.