A judge in New Mexico and several of her pets were shot to death in what police believe was a murder-suicide by the woman’s husband.
Police found the bodies of Diane Albert, 65, Eric Pinkerton, 63, and “several dead animals” inside their home on Ranchitos Road in Los Ranchos De Albuquerque Friday after a friend of the couple received “a troubling message from Eric Pinkerton”. said a cheep Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities believe Pinkerton shot Albert and the animals before turning the gun on himself, the sheriff’s office said.
KOAT, Albuquerque’s ABC affiliate reported a deputy sheriff’s dispatch said: “He left a voicemail with his friend saying he murdered his wife and their dogs and cat. And he is about to commit suicide.
Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Jayme Fuller confirmed the dispatch to NBC News.
Fuller added that the last domestic violence-related 911 call from the couple’s residence was in January 2019.
Alberto was a judge in Los Ranchos Municipal CourtNBC affiliate KOB of Albuquerque reported. She was a practicing patent attorney who previously served as a planning and zoning commissioner for the North Valley area, a Los Alamos County commissioner, and president of the Bike Coalition of New Mexico, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
A friend of Albert’s told the local newspaper that he had recently re-enrolled at the University of New Mexico to study French.
A representative for the university did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Local officials mourned Albert’s death.
State Auditor Brian Colón published a tribute to Albert on Facebook.
“Diane would always come into our house with a smile and usually wearing her bike helmet. What a loss,” Colón wrote. “Rest in peace and know you spread kindness near and far.”
“We are heartbroken to hear the news of this senseless tragedy,” Los Ranchos Manager Ann Simon told the Albuquerque Journal.
Simon called Albert “a brilliant mind and a friend”.
“We cannot ignore that this happened on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,” added Simon, referring to a annual observance established by the United Nations in 2008.
The murders marked the third fatal incident of domestic violence in the Albuquerque area on Thanksgiving weekend, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or the threat of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or go to www.thehotline.org for anonymous and confidential online chats, available in English and Spanish. Individual states often have their own domestic violence hotlines as well.
Advocates at the National Domestic Violence Hotline receive calls from both domestic violence survivors and people who are concerned they may be abusive to their partners.