Local woman’s remains found in N.M.

Alesha Daniel last seen in 2010; body discovered near Albuquerque

The remains of a La Plata County woman who went missing 1½ years ago were identified this week in New Mexico.

Alesha Daniel, who would have been 38, is believed to have gone missing in late July or early August 2010, said Detective Burke Baldwin, with the Durango Police Department.

Her remains were found Oct. 7, 2010, in an undisclosed location south of Albuquerque, Baldwin said.

A positive identification of the remains was made Tuesday with the help of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, a federal program that tracks missing persons and unidentified human remains across the country.

The identity of her remains was confirmed through dental records by the New Mexico medical examiner’s office.

Daniel worked at north City Market, 3130 Main Ave., and had family in the area, Baldwin said.

Daniel’s last known address was at the Lightner Creek Mobile Home Park west of Durango. The mobile home park did not return a phone call Friday seeking comment.

A couple of residents who were reached by phone said they did not know Daniel.

An employee at north City Market declined to comment about Daniel’s employment. Corporate offices in Denver did not return a phone call seeking comment about her employment.

New Mexico authorities are investigating the cause of death. The Valencia County Sheriff’s office did not return a phone call Friday seeking comment.

In another missing-person case, authorities in San Juan County (N.M.) continue to look for Irvin Rangel, a Durango man who recently moved to the Farmington area.

Rangel was last seen Jan. 24 leaving Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort. His vehicle was found Jan. 29 in a remote location about four miles south of Farmington. The vehicle had a “significant” amount of blood inside it, according to the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.

His friend, Michael DeCoteau, 29, was found dead Feb. 4 in a culvert with multiple gunshot wounds, but Rangel remains missing.

Rangel’s family in Durango has offered a $30,000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Irvin.

His father, Martin Rangel, said he fears the worst.

“We’re still looking for him,” he said Friday. “I don’t think he’s OK.”

shane@durangoherald.com