ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque family is trying to grieve the loss of their son following a fiery crash, but when they stopped by the scene a week later, they made a disturbing discovery.
Hector Sanchez, 18, was going to be a senior this year at Rio Grande High School but he died in a crash last week along I-40. When his family went to set up a memorial on Monday, they were devastated by what they found.
“We found his hand,” Sanchez’s aunt, Joanna Cheno, said.
The family retrieved and brought home Sanchez’s right hand. “There was pieces of his skin still on the floor at the accident site,” Cheno said. “We didn’t bring it because it was full of ants.”
They ended up leaving with a whole bag of Sanchez’s belongings, including a hat, boots, car key, and pieces of his phone and vehicle. During a Facebook Live video at the site, they made another gruesome discovery.
“We didn’t know the nose was here,” Cheno said. “We didn’t know that until right now.”
The family is demanding answers from New Mexico State Police (NMSP), who the family said did not call them back until KRQE got involved. The family said an officer came by Monday evening. According to the family, the officer asked them how they knew there wasn’t a second victim.
“They don’t care,” Cheno said. “They don’t care about any citizen of New Mexico because if they cared enough, they would not leave his body behind.”
Sanchez’s cousins, grandparents and aunts gathered by his mom’s side Monday with a Bible in hand. The family also found identifying paperwork at the scene which made them question why it took several days to learn of the crash. They said Sanchez was traveling to Arizona when it happened, and they filed a missing persons report that day after not hearing from him. They called local law enforcement agencies repeatedly until finally getting an answer four days later.
NMSP said there was a delay in the death notification due to the condition of the body, and the SUV wasn’t registered in Sanchez’s name.
NMSP said they turned the hand over to the Office of the Medical Investigator for positive identification after the family contacted them on Monday.