Detectives charge man in Farmington woman’s death

Farmington, N.M. – The Farmington Police Department filed charges against 51-year-old Thomas Howard on March 31, 2022. Howard is charged with 2nd degree murder for the death of Farmington resident Roberta Baier.

On December 6, 2021, officers responded to the 2800 block of East 22nd Street to check on Ms. Baier after her friends reported not hearing from her in several days. After several failed attempts to contact her, officers entered her apartment, where the 65-year-old was found deceased. Ms. Baier’s death was deemed suspicious, and Farmington detectives began a homicide investigation. Detectives identified the suspect as Ms. Baier’s boyfriend, Thomas Howard, and through investigative efforts, detectives discovered he had fled to a suburb of Chicago, IL. With the assistance of the United States Marshal Service and Berwyn Police Department, Howard was arrested on an unrelated warrant on February 5, 2022, in Cicero, IL. FPD detectives traveled to Chicago to interview Howard and further investigate his involvement in Ms. Baier’s death. Howard is currently in custody in Cook County, IL, and is awaiting extradition back to New Mexico, where he faces the charges in connection with Ms. Baier’s homicide. 

The Farmington Police Department would like to thank the United States Marshal Service and Berwyn, IL Police Department for their assistance in this case. Anyone with information that may affect this case is encouraged to call the FPD tip line 505-599-1068.