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Ignacio woman killed at Navajo Lake
7/13/2007 By: Times staff report
An Ignacio woman was killed at a Navajo Lake camping area early July 4, and an Ignacio man is in the San Juan County N.M. jail on charges of killing her.
According to information from detective Lt. Tyler Truby of the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, victim Pat Pacheco and accused killer John Hunt were camping together at Colorado Cove, commonly known as Cocaine Cove. It is in New Mexico but accessed is from Colorado.
“They had been drinking,” Truby said. “They got in a fight over something, and it looks like he beat her to death with his hands and feet. Initial indications are she died from blunt force trauma.”
According to information on the SJCSO web site, deputies and Navajo State Park rangers were dispatched to the cove at around 4:40 a.m. on July 4. When they arrived, they got reports of a possible homicide from other campers who had already gotten Hunt under control.
There were two camping groups. One was Hunt and Pacheco. The other was campers from the Durango area. The initial indication was that none of the people in the Durango group knew Hunt or Pacheco.
The web site report said, “According to witnesses from camp site two, one of the women from the camp was sleeping in the back seat of a car. She was waken (sic) up during the early morning hours when the man from camp site one opened the door near her feet.
“She said that the man told her that everyone around her was dead. He then began to pull the sleeping bag as if to pull the woman out of the car. The woman allowed the sleeping bag to slip over her body and be drug out of the car. The woman opened the other door and began to yell. Some other men from camp site two ran to her aid and they saw the suspect.”
People in the Durango group told investigators the suspect called to men in their group and said he was tough and he didn’t mean to kill her. He then ran away.
The web report continues, “The people from camp site two began to look around. This is when they found the body of the victim from camp site one. The suspect then came out of the weeds and again began to challenge the men from camp site two to a fight. One of the men from camp site two then hit the suspect in the head with a stick. The people from camp site two then sat on the suspect, tied his hands with rope, and waited for deputies and rangers to arrive.”
Pacheco was pronounced dead at the scene. Hunt had a head injury and was airlifted to San Juan Regional Medical Center. He was arrested when he was released from there.
Arrest charges were an open count of murder, aggravated assault with intent to commit a violent felony, simple battery, and two counts of aggravated assault. Initial bond was set at $500,000 cash only.
Hunt is 54.
Pacheco was 56. She had operated the Cleopatrah’s clothing and thrift store in Ignacio. A memorial service for her was held Tuesday at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Ignacio. An obituary is on Page 8.
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