No ID yet on bones found in desert
September 17, 2004
Filiberto Anguiano said he is nervously awaiting word on his missing wife’s fate after police called him Thursday night to say remains found in the Fallon desert could possibly be hers.
“I feel uncertainty,” the father of three said Friday from Southern California. “I haven’t told (my sons) yet.”
Carson City Sheriff’s Sgt. Bob White said it may be more than a week before anyone knows for sure if the sun-baked bones found five miles off Highway 50 East on Trento Lane are those of Bertha Anguiano.
“The autopsy couldn’t really tell who the person was, how they died, or their sex,” said White. “At this point we’re kind of in limbo until we can find out the DNA results.”
Churchill County Sheriff Richard Ingram, however, said the Washoe County Coroner thought the bones were more than likely those of a woman.
Bertha Anguiano, 33, of Carson City, has been missing since Nov. 10 when her 3-year-old son, Andrew, was found bloodied and abandoned about 9:30 a.m. at a Dayton grocery store. He told police he witnessed his mother’s murder at that hands of “Juan” and the same man shoved him from a blue truck. Investigators uncovered an alleged affair between the married mother and Israel “Juan Carlos” Tellez, 40.
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When police released Tellez’s picture and description, the manager of the Oxbow Motor Inn in Fallon called to say Tellez rented a room for a week and was evicted from the motel on Nov. 10 about 11:15 a.m.
The manager said Tellez’s room was a mess and the linens were covered in dirt or mud. By the time police got the information, the sheets had been thrown away, said White. Tellez was nowhere to be found.
Eventually, information led investigators to an apartment in Salt Lake City. When Tellez was approached for an interview, he pulled a weapon from his waistband and pointed it at officers. He was disarmed when a deputy struck him with the patrol vehicle. He is currently serving up to five years in a Utah prison because of the incident.
Blood found inside Tellez’s truck matched the blood found on Andrew’s clothing and when compared to the boy’s DNA, came up as matching that of a female relative.
White said Friday’s autopsy offered few clues as to the body’s identity. The remains, which represent less than 50 percent of a skeleton and include a jawbone, teeth and some hair, will be sent to Chico, Calif., where they will be examined by a forensic pathologist.
From a close examination of the bones, a forensic pathologist should be able to determine the cause of death, an estimation of the time of death, if the death was a homicide, what type of weapon was used and the identity of the deceased. DNA testing will be done at the Washoe County Crime Lab, White said.
In the meantime, Filiberto, who left Carson City to return to Southern California with his family, said he and his sons have no choice but to go on.
“We’re just living life,” he said. “I mean, what do you do after something like this? You continue to live.”
Contact F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.
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