Body Found in Pajarito Mesa Identified as Missing Teen; Investigation Ongoing

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) has provided an update on the ongoing investigation following the discovery of a body in Pajarito Mesa on May 19, 2024, at approximately 4:00 PM.

The body, identified as a teenage male with at least one gunshot wound, presented significant challenges for detectives initially. A breakthrough occurred when the family of the teen reported him missing, enabling BCSO to confirm the identity of the victim as 16-year-old Jesus Quintana Cota.

The identification and notification process involved thorough and careful work, underscored by a commitment to accuracy and sensitivity due to the victim’s young age. Authorities are investigating the case as a homicide and are seeking public assistance to uncover the circumstances surrounding Jesus’s death. Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Carroll at (505) 263-5167 or via email at

BCSO addressed concerns about the timing of the announcement, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the integrity of the investigation and respecting the victim’s family during this difficult period. “Our detectives are committed to thorough and careful investigations, and sometimes these efforts require more time to ensure that every fact is verified, and every lead is followed,” a BCSO representative stated.

ABQ RAW received a few messages from individuals claiming to be related to Cota, asking why his case had not been covered by us or other media outlets. We did not have a name of the victim or what law agency who took the report. Additionally, authorities did not inform the media about this homicide until 4:00 PM on May 30th.

Again, if you have tips on this homicide, please contact BCSO contact Detective Carroll at (505) 263-5167 or via email at

You can also file an anonymous tip with Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers at (505) 843-STOP or Just select “BCSO” for the agency and “Homicide” as the general information.


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