Rio Arriba sheriff looks for clues in 'execution style' double slaying

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ESPANOLA, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in Rio Arriba County are investigating a double slaying in the community of Hernandez.

Sheriff's spokesman Jake Arnold says two men were slain execution-style Monday evening.

Arnold identified the victims as 53-year-old Matthew Maestas and 47-year-old Joseph Eugene Valdez, both of Hernandez.

Arnold declined to say how the men were killed. But Sheriff Tommy Rodella characterized the killings as brutal.

Arnold says the men, who were friends, were found dead in Maestas's trailer home north of Espanola just before 5 p.m. He says the victims appear to have been targeted by someone they knew. The assailant or assailants then set fire to the trailer before fleeing.

The bodies were discovered when deputies on patrol spotted smoke coming from the trailer.