2017 disappearance shifts to homicide investigation

2017 disappearance shifts to homicide investigation

From the Las Vegas Optic

The white SUV was hundreds of feet off the road, obscured by brush. Police speculated that 30-year-old Henry T. Duran had been behind the wheel of the abandoned vehicle found on March 19, 2017, two weeks after he’d been reported missing. However, a search of the area turned up no sign of him.

For nearly two years, Duran’s disappearance remained a mystery, until December 2018 when New Mexico State Police investigators got a break that led them to Duran’s remains. Police now consider Duran’s death a homicide and have arrested 32-year-old Sharise L. Herrera in connection with his death, charging her with tampering with evidence and conspiracy.

For the first two weeks Duran was missing, police sought him purely as a suspect in the theft of the SUV, which was reported stolen Feb. 19, 2017. The vehicle’s owner told police Duran had been visiting her daughter at their Camp Luna home the day before. Duran was waiting for someone to pick him up, and around 3:30 that afternoon, he asked if he could go sit in the SUV while he waited for his ride, according to a criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court.

The owner of the SUV gave him permission, but about 20 minutes later, she noticed Duran and the SUV were gone. She hoped he would return with it soon, but when she hadn’t heard from Duran by the next day, she called police and reported the SUV stolen.

Days later, on March 3, 2017, Duran’s family reported him missing, and while State Police still sought him as a suspect in the vehicle theft, investigators also sought information on him as a missing person. Locating the SUV in the brush a couple weeks later would be the last big break investigators had until Dec. 16, 2018, when Las Vegas Police arrested Herrera’s brother Jeffrey Lucero.

Lucero’s arrest was not connected to Duran’s disappearance, but while in police custody, Lucero said he knew something about Duran, according to an affidavit filed in Magistrate Court. Duran wasn’t missing, he told police. He was dead, and Lucero said he knew who’d killed him.