Body found in Nevada confirmed to be missing New Mexico woman

Suspect Jerry Jay

Farmington, N.M. – The body of missing New Mexico woman, Cecelia Finona, was identified in Clark County, Nevada. Farmington police detectives have been working closely with several law enforcement agencies, including Sparks Police Department and Las Vegas Metro Police Department, in their search for Cecelia since she went missing in late May of 2019. The primary person of interest in the case, Jerry Jay, is still in custody on charges in Nevada from June of 2019. The Farmington Police Department filed the charges of Murder in the 1st degree, Kidnapping 1st degree, and Tampering with Evidence against Jay on July 2, 2021.

Cecelia was last seen by family members on May 30, 2019, and was reported missing on June 1, 2019. Her boyfriend, 59-year-old Jerry Jay, was also missing from the residence, and evidence found at the home led Farmington detectives to be very concerned for the safety of Cecelia. Sparks PD arrested Jay on June 5, 2019, on charges of Possession of a Credit Card without Owner’s Consent and Fraudulent Use of a Credit or Debit Card. Remains were located in Clark County, Nevada, by a citizen in February of 2021; those remains were identified as Cecelia through DNA on June 30.

Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe issued the following statement regarding this case, “Today we have very mixed feelings. This marks the ending of two years of searching, and we’re deeply saddened at the outcome. We will continue working as we have since the day she disappeared to ensure the person responsible for this is held accountable. We offer our most heartfelt condolences to Cecelia’s family and friends.”

Cecelia was a US Army veteran. Family and friends describe her as a good-hearted person who cared about people and a leader in the community who made a difference. 

The Farmington Police Department would like to thank Sparks Police Department, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Clark County Coroner’s Office, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Division, and the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in the case. FPD would also like to thank the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office for their help with multiple searches in the area.