A judge in New Mexico and several of her pets were shot to death in what police believe was a murder-suicide by her 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”. Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office tweeted.
Authorities believe Pinkerton shot Albert and the animals before he turned the gun on himself, the sheriff’s office said.
KOAT-TV of Albuquerque 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.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jayme Fuller confirmed the dispatch to NBC News.
Alberto was a judge. in Los Ranchos Municipal Court. She is a practicing patent attorney and has previously served as a planning and zoning commissioner for the North Valley area, as a Los Alamos County commissioner, and as president of the Bike Coalition of New Mexico, the Albuquerque Journal. reported.
A friend of Albert’s told the newspaper that she 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 said in a tribute on Facebook: “Diane would always enter our house with a smile and usually wearing her bike helmet. What a loss. Rest in peace and know that you are spreading kindness near and far.”
Los Ranchos Village administrator Ann Simon told the Journal: “We are heartbroken to hear the news of this senseless tragedy.”
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 the annual observance established by the United Nations in 2008.
The murders marked the third fatal incident of domestic violence in the Albuquerque area over Thanksgiving weekend, the 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.