New Mexico State Police Charge Las Vegas Woman With Murdering Father-in-Law

Ruth Rivera is charged with murdering her father-in-law. Courtesy/NMSP
 
NMSP News:
 
The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau opened an investigation Dec. 28 into a suspicious death, which occurred at a residence on 580 N.M. 3 in Ribera, San Miguel County. State Police officers were dispatched around 12:30 p.m. to the residence for a medical call of an elderly man who had fallen.
 
When officers and EMS personnel arrived on scene, they found the residence full of smoke from a fire, which started and spread from a gas stove in the kitchen. Officers then discovered in a bedroom the body of Arthur Rivera, 81. The body appeared to have sustained multiple wounds consistent with those made by a sharp object and around the body was a large amount of blood.
 
State Police agents later interviewed Ruth Rivera, 52, who was on scene during the initial response. She stated she was the daughter-in-law and caretaker of Arthur Rivera. She gave inconsistent statements to State Police agents and told agents her father-in-law and had fallen and injured himself at the residence. She stated she was attempting to help him when the house caught on fire from the stove so she called 911.  She also admitted the only occupants at the residence at the time were Arthur Rivera and herself.
 
After obtaining search warrants, State Police agents collected the clothing, which Ruth Rivera was wearing at the scene. Her clothing was wet and appeared to have been recently cleansed in attempt to hide evidence. Also collected at the scene was a knife blade placed on the burnt stove.
 
On the morning of Dec. 30, 2016, an autopsy was conducted on Arthur Rivera. The Office of the Medical Investigator ruled his death a homicide and noted multiple stab wounds to his torso and face.
 
On the evening of Dec. 30, 2016, State Police agents arrested Ruth Rivera for the death of her father-in-law. She was booked on charges of first degree murder and tampering with evidence.
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