Police hope 25th anniversary of gruesome Las Cruces murders brings new information
Four people were killed, including three children, authorities say
Suspects have never been found
On an early February morning almost 25 years ago, a bleeding 12-year-old Melissa Repass somehow summoned the courage and wherewithal to call 911 after she and six others were shot execution-style at a New Mexico bowling alley.
Repass and 13-year-old Amy Hauser had arrived at the Las Cruces Bowl early that day to work at the bowling alley’s day care. As Repass’ mother dropped her off, two armed men took Hauser, Repass and her mother to a back room where the safe was located. The bowling alley’s cook was also forced into the room.
Shortly afterward, another employee – Steven Teran, 26 – and his two young daughters arrived at the bowling alley and were confronted by one of the suspects, who pushed them into the room with the others, police said.
There, the armed men were able to get into the safe and took the $5,000 in cash inside. After stashing the money, the men shot all seven victims at point-blank range and set fire to the office, apparently hoping to destroy evidence, police said.
Then, they fled.
Repass, who was critically injured, managed to find a phone and dial 911.
Police arrived shortly thereafter to find all seven victims in the office as the fire continued to grow. Repass, her mother and the cook were the only ones who survived.
The investigation continues
As the 25th anniversary of the brutal murders comes on February 10, the suspects still have not been brought to justice. Las Cruces police investigators updated sketches of the men back in 2005 to reflect 15 years of aging, but still haven’t had any significant leads.
Police Chief Jaime Montoya said his officers still “aggressively follow new leads as they come in” but they’re continuing to ask for the public’s help in finding the men.
“It’s amazing that even 25 years later, we still receive tips. Usually around the anniversary of the event, they come in, and as they come in we actively pursue them,” Det. Amador Martinez told CNN.
Today, the older suspect would be in his late 50s or early 60s, authorities say. The younger man would be in his late 40s or in his early 50s. Police say they believe both men are Hispanic with dark complexions.
“It remains our intention to solve this case for the sake of the victims, their families and friends, and all the residents of Las Cruces who continue to mourn the senseless tragedy that shook our city,” Montoya said in a statement.
CNN’s Carma Hassan contributed to this story.