State police ID person of interest in Tucumcari homicides

State police say Muziwokuthula “Muzie” Madonda, 33, was last in a 1996 Chevrolet Astro Van with Illinois license plate H188855.

Freedom New Mexico

State police have identified Muziwokuthula “Muzie” Madonda, 33, as a person of interest in the deaths of two Tucumcari men whose bodies were discovered Thursday in a hotel room.

State police have classified the incident as a double homicide.

State Police Lt. Eric Garcia said Madonda was last seen in a 1996 Chevrolet Astro Van with Illinois license plate H188855.

Asked if Madonda was a suspect, Garcia said only that Madonda was a “person of interest.”

“Through the course of the investigation, Madonda was identified as a person of interest in this case,” Garcia said. “If you know the whereabouts of Mr. Madonda or the vehicle in question, contact the New Mexico State Police immediately.”

Bobby Gonzales, 57, and Gabriel Baca 37, were found dead in a room at the Tucumcari Inn, 1700 E. Route 66 Blvd.

Garcia declined to address the manner of death or who found the bodies. He said investigators are working with medical investigators to determine how long the men had been dead before they were discovered. He also said it was unclear on whether or not they resided at the hotel.

Tucumcari police said they responded to the scene around noon after a family member of the victims saw them through the room window.

The case was turned over to state police, who arrived in the evening, according to a Friday press release.

Police have asked anyone with information to contact state police at (575) 461-3300.