PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police revisit cold case homicide, asking for public’s assistance

Composite Sketch
Composite Sketch

Farmington, NM – Detectives with the Farmington Police Department are seeking information about a cold case homicide that took place nearly eight and a half years ago. On October 21, 2009 around 12:54 p.m., officers were dispatched to the area west of the Auburn Trailer Park located at 951 N. Auburn, in reference to a found body. Officers responded to the area and discovered a partially submerged adult male in the shallow brook west of the park. The male victim was quickly identified by family members who were on scene as 37-year-old Nathaniel Robert Morgan. The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator ruled Morgan’s manner of death as a homicide. It was apparent that he’d been involved in some type of physical altercation prior to his death.

Nathaniel Robert Morgan Photo
Nathaniel Morgan

The last time Morgan was seen alive was the afternoon of October 20, 2009 when he was sitting on a lawn chair drinking by the stream with an unknown friend. The friend was described as a male, 25-to-35 years of age, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and 170 pounds with a shaved head.  Witnesses met with a forensic artist within days and a composite sketch was drawn and released to the media. The sketch generated numerous tips, which detectives followed up on. However, all leads were exhausted.

Farmington detectives are asking anyone with information about the altercation that occurred with Mr. Morgan or who recognize the composite sketch to call Detective Heather Chavez at 566-2370 or non-emergency dispatch at 334-6622. Anonymous tips may be submitted to San Juan County Crime Stoppers at 334-TIPS.



PRESS RELEASE: Farmington Police Department to host second presentation in “Choices” series: A look at domestic violence

Farmington, NM – A local survivor of domestic violence will share her courageous story with the community during a presentation on April 24 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Sycamore Park Community Center. The presentation is part of the Farmington Police Department’s “Choices” series. The first presentation took place in January of this year and featured former gang member, Jorge Cuevas.

Domestic violence, also called intimate partner violence, is experienced by individuals and families nationwide. The abusive tactics used by a partner to control another can include physical, sexual and emotional violence as well as economic abuse and use of children to manipulate the victim into staying in the relationship. An estimated one in three women and one in four men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime. One in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year and 90 percent of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.

During this free public event, the presenter will give a first-hand account of living with an abuser and how she was finally able to escape. A victim advocate and detective with the Farmington Police Department will provide an overview and local statistics of domestic violence. Representatives from local organizations will be available to provide resources to individuals in need of services.

*Media is welcome to attend the event. However, the presenter has requested that her name not be used is stories and that she not be photographed from the front. 

PRESS RELEASE: 17-year-old male charged in west Farmington stabbing

Farmington, NM – Farmington police are investigating a stabbing that occurred yesterday evening in west Farmington. Officers were dispatched to the area of Piedras Street and Robin Avenue around 6:30 p.m. for a welfare check of a subject who was “passed out.”  When officers arrived they found an individual lying in the dirt lot north of Piedras. The individual, a 28-year-old male from Arizona, was deceased and appeared to have multiple stab wounds. Officers established a perimeter and detectives responded to the scene.

Through investigation, a 17-year-old male from Farmington was identified as a suspect and located in the area. He was transported to the Farmington Police Department for questioning and subsequently arrested on charges of Second Degree Murder and three counts of Tampering with Evidence. He was booked into the San Juan County Juvenile Detention Center.


PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police to conduct sobriety checkpoints in March

Farmington, NM – The Farmington Police Department is working to keep our roadways safe and free from impaired drivers. During the month of March, they will be conducting sobriety checkpoints as part of the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s ENDDWI campaign. The campaign was created to help reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes and fatalities on our roadways.

Corporal Johnston with FPD’s Traffic Division emphasized the importance of not driving while impaired, “DWI crashes are something that can be completely avoided by choosing to use a designated driver. By doing so, you’re not only ensuring your own safety but the safety of other individuals and families on the road.”

The Farmington Police Department would also like to remind citizens to be vigilant and report suspected drunk drivers by calling 911. Working with our community to keep our roadways safe!

PRESS RELEASE: Standoff with shooting suspect from Ignacio ends in officer-involved shooting

Farmington, NM – Farmington police responded to the Motel 6 on Bloomfield Boulevard Monday night in reference to a suspect who was wanted by the Ignacio Police Department. The suspect had a felony warrant for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. At approximately 8:45 p.m. the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office located the suspect’s vehicle and confirmed that he was staying at the motel. Farmington Police Department’s SWAT team and crisis negotiation team responded shortly after. The suspect, a 25-year-old male from Colorado, was inside one of the motel rooms along with his mother. His mother came out of the room at approximately 10:18 p.m. SWAT officers began making announcements for the suspect to come out. Around 10:56 p.m. an FPD crisis negotiator attempted to make contact with the suspect by phone, but the suspect would not answer. The negotiator continued to call until around 11:56 p.m. No contact was ever made with the suspect. Detectives obtained a search warrant for the room and just before 1:00 a.m. SWAT slowly made entry into the room. Officers were able to hear movement in the ceiling and again made multiple attempts to get him to come out. SWAT officers began removing the ceiling tile and the suspect fell out. Once on the ground, he immediately stood up and charged officers with a knife. An officer fired his duty weapon striking the suspect. Medical aid was immediately rendered and the suspect was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center where he later succumbed to his injuries.

The New Mexico State Police are responding to take over the investigation. More information will be released as the State Police investigation unfolds. Chief Hebbe said, “While it’s unfortunate that the suspect chose not to end this peacefully, we are extremely relieved and grateful that none of our officers or any other civilians were harmed.”

PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police announce plan to increase police presence in schools

Farmington, NM – Earlier this week Farmington Police Department announced on Facebook that they met with representatives from the Farmington Municipal School District. The meeting was to discuss national events and how they can work together to increase safety for students and faculty. Their discussion included plans for an increased police presence in the schools and they anticipated having a finalized plan in place early next week. The plan has been finalized and today FPD announced that uniformed officers of all ranks, including the chief of police, will be making unannounced visits to the schools. The officers will be conducting walkthroughs of the campuses inside and out and will be speaking with students and staff. This is in addition to school resource officers already assigned to schools.

The plan was implemented yesterday and will remain in effect for the remainder of the school year. The public should please be advised, there may be several patrol vehicles in a school parking lot at once during unscheduled visits.

Chief Hebbe expressed the department’s commitment to school safety, “These are trying times in our community and across the nation. Students and faculty should feel safe in the environment in which they learn and teach. We are committed to the safety of our citizens and will continue to work closely with schools and law enforcement throughout the county on this issue.”

PRESS RELEASE: Student charged in connection with school threat

Farmington, NM – A Farmington student has been charged in connection with a recent school threat that took place earlier this week. Farmington police were notified on Tuesday about the threat circulating on social media targeting Tibbetts Middle School. The post read that an individual and friends were going to shoot up the school either Wednesday or Thursday. Detectives with the Farmington Police Department immediately opened an investigation and quickly identified a 14-year-old female as the suspect. Today at approximately 2:40 p.m. she was taken into custody and transported to the San Juan County Juvenile Detention Center. She is being charged with interference with the educational process and public nuisance. Detectives believe the female acted alone and haven’t found evidence to support the allegation of other subjects involvement.

Throughout the investigation, an increased police presence was provided at Farmington schools. This increased police presence will remain in place until the end of the school year.

The Farmington Police Department would like to thank the public for their ongoing vigilance and dedication to the safety of our children. Chief Hebbe explained, “This case is a testament to the strong partnership between law enforcement and our community. The number of citizens who reported this threat was overwhelming. We commend you for stepping up and making a report.”