Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Clovis police investigating homicide

Staff writer

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A Tucumcari man found dead Monday afternoon in a vacant residence on Sheldon Street was either shot or bludgeoned to death, according to Capt. Patrick Whitney of the Clovis Police Department.

Whitney said Monday evening the man’s identity is being withheld until family is notified.

Whitney said the victim suffered severe trauma to the head and appeared to have been dead for a day or two.

“(The man) has been identified by his tattoos and his driver’s license matches him to booking sheets in our system,” Whitney said.

Whitney said the body will be sent to Albuquerque for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Whitney said police had no suspects and no arrests have been made in connection with the case.

Police received a call at 12:20 p.m. Monday after the property manager discovered the body. Whitney said the house was supposed to have been vacated days earlier when the previous tenants moved out.

Whitney said neighbors heard what they thought was a firework going off at 10:30 p.m. Sunday night, but thought it was strange because they had only heard one go off.

Neighbor Manuel Amavizca, 16, said the house’s previous residents had moved out Friday, but he had seen two men and a child enter the residence Saturday to move furniture and other items out of the house.

Amavizca’s father, Antonio Amavizca, said he didn’t know the previous residents, but had noticed that there were always different vehicles at the house.

Manuel Amavizca said as far as he could tell two men lived in the residence.

The region has not had a homicide in more than a year.

The last slaying was June 30, 2013, when Max Allen of Grady was shot in a struggle with a Friona man, David Brown. A grand jury ruled justifiable homicide by self defense in that case.

Devin Saiz, 17, of Clovis was stabbed to death on March 30, 2013, during a party on Reid Street. Rico Sena was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in that case earlier this year.