N.M. man confesses to killing landlord with a screwdriver in 2008
05/03/2023 2:00 pm PDT
ROSWELL, N.M. (TCD) -- A 37-year-old man is in custody after reportedly borrowing someone’s phone and calling 911 this week to confess that he killed his 69-year-old landlord more than 14 years ago.
According to the Roswell Police Department, on Jan. 3, 2009, William Blodgett’s son reported his father missing after his family and girlfriend had not seen or heard from him since late December 2008. At the time, police said investigators determined Blodgett might have been killed.
During an interview with Blodgett’s girlfriend, police learned he had allegedly gotten into a dispute with Tony Peralta, one of his tenants, after trying to evict him. Officials identified Peralta as a possible suspect but didn’t gather enough information to arrest him, and the case went cold.
On Monday, May 1, Peralta reportedly entered an Allsup’s convenience store near North Main Street and Country Club Road, where he asked to borrow someone’s phone and called 911 to report that he had "killed somebody." Officers responded to the store, and Peralta was taken into custody.
According to police, Peralta indicated that the victim’s body was buried at the home where he and Blodgett lived in 2008. Officers responded to the house on the 400 block of East 5th Street, removed plywood floorboards from an attached room, and found human remains and a set of dentures. Police determined the dentures and the remains were Blodgett’s.
Peralta did not tell police why he killed Blodgett, but he reportedly said he used a screwdriver to do so and "felt a need to confess." The Associated Press reports that Peralta also told police "his heart hurts," and he didn’t have an excuse.
Peralta was arrested and booked into the Chaves County Detention Center on a charge of first-degree murder.
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