A New Mexico man on probation who had to wear an ankle bracelet to monitor his movements has been arrested in the fatal beating of his wife with an ax after authorities used data from the bracelet to find her body in a national forest where the couple went to cut firewood, state police said Wednesday.
Armando Zamora, 35, was charged with murder after being arrested and jailed last Sunday on suspicion of killing Erica Zamora, 39, after her body was found in the Gila National Forest, a New Mexico State Police statement said.
Erica Zamora was reported missing Friday after she had not been heard from since Sept. 26, the day the couple went to the nearby forest, the statement said.
After learning that Armando Zamora wore an ankle monitor because of a 2019 conviction for sexual contact with a minor, investigators checked GPS coordinates to see where for he had been recently. including the wood cutting site, the statement said.
“A sergeant searched the area and located a deceased female matching the description of Erica Zamora," the state police statement said.
Armando Zamora had told investigators he last saw his wife on Sept. 28 when he dropped her at her separate residence but on Sunday after her body was found, he “admitted to beating Erica to death" with an ax, the statement said.
According to a police report, Armando Zamora told investigators the couple argued on the drive to the forest and that he killed her after she punched him at the wood cutting site, KOAT-TV reported.
The couple had a pending divorce case that was initiated by Armando Zamora in June, according to court records.
Court records for the criminal and the divorce cases did not list an attorney who could comment on behalf of Armando Zamora, who is from the small community of Santa Clara.