The Beat's question for candidates for Grant County Sheriff.
All candidates were asked by telephone to answer the question, “If you are elected, what would you tell the parents of Roberto Benavidez who was brutally murdered in Hurley six years ago?” Their impromptu answers, condensed for clarity, follow (in last name alphabetical order).
Frank Gomez’ answer:
I will make it a priority and assign a new investigator to it. Not that anyone before did anything bad, but simply to put a fresh mind and a fresh set of eyes on it and thinking to cover anything we might have missed. I would look again at the evidence, perhaps resubmitting certain elements for laboratory analysis. I would use any federal and state resources available to aggressively help solve this case. Re-interviewing witnesses and possible suspects would be part of my process, so we can hopefully close this case and give the family the closure they deserve.
Lonnie Sandoval's answer:
It’s part of my platform to try to solve these homicides. I would definitely review the case. It’s very important just as people to try and get some closure. Those parents really need that. The agency needs to bring people to justice that are at fault.
Ray Tavizon’s answer:
"This case was adopted by our department after the fact , and we have followed every lead. ”We gave served several warrants on vehicles and interviewed several people.” I know another deputy has worked diligently on the case and has done everything he can with every lead that has been given to us and will continue to look into every lead we get. That’s all I can really tell the family of the young man. The case remains open and we are actively trying to find information on what happened that night."
Robert Tovar's answer:
"I basically would tell the parents the case is still under investigation. I know this happened prior to my retiring but at the position I was in, I really didn’t have too much information on the incident. I would advise them that our resources are going to be utilized to bring closure at some point in time. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a little while. But, of course, I would give my condolences to the family and keep them informed of how the case is progressing."