ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ The city’s lone Indian policewoman was found shot to death near a ridge of ancient Indian etchings, and a paroled convict she had befriended was being questioned in the crime.
``I don’t doubt the fact she allowed somebody a little bit closer to her that was just on the other side, and that’s what caused her death,″ said Damon Fay, a homicide detective.
Sgt. Cheryl Tiller, 38, was found dead around noon Wednesday by a hiker near Petroglyph National Monument, a 17-mile ridge of black volcanic boulders etched with images of dragonflies, serpents and masked men.
The 17-year veteran had last been seen about 12 hours earlier with her friend Roy Hall Martinez, 25, Police Chief Gerald Galvin said.
Martinez was arrested Thursday night on a charge of violating his parole on an assault conviction. He had removed the electronic ankle bracelet that was being used to keep track of him, police said.
Galvin said he did not know how close a relationship Tiller and Martinez had. Tiller was off duty at the time of the shooting.
Tiller was the lone female Indian officer on a force of 896 officers, 103 of them women. She is the first woman on the force to be slain. The last Albuquerque officer to be killed died in a shootout in 1987.
Fay said Tiller was well-loved at the department and on the streets.
``Cheryl had the biggest heart in the world, and I’m sure that’s what got her killed,″ Fay said.