A Durango man has been arrested on suspicion of killing his wife early Monday in the Lightner Creek Mobile Home Park, a couple of miles west of Durango.
Silvino Martinez-Perez, 35, was being held Monday on suspicion of first-degree murder at the La Plata County Jail, said La Plata County Sheriff’s spokesman Dan Bender.
Martinez-Perez called 911 shortly after midnight to report the incident, Bender said. He declined to be more specific about the 911 call, saying the case remains under investigation.
When deputies arrived to space No. 7, they found Crystal Martinez-Perez, 37, unconsciousness and not breathing, Bender said. The woman had signs of physical trauma, but the Sheriff’s Office declined to be more specific.
Deputies performed CPR until medics arrived and attempted to resuscitate her. She was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead, Bender said.
An autopsy is planned for Tuesday in Durango.
During the course of the investigation, deputies found probable cause to arrest Silvino Martinez-Perez, Bender said.
The couple had three children all younger than 10 in the house. It was not immediately known if the children were being cared for by family members in the area or were placed in the custody of the La Plata County Department of Human Services.
According to Crystal’s aunt, Tessa Nicole Thomas-Peterson, Crystal and Silvino had been a couple for a long time but decided to marry within the past few years. She said the two had a historically “rocky relationship.”
“She had been unhappy for a very long time ... but they never let you know how bad it is,” Thomas-Peterson said. “She loved him and wanted it to work for the kids, but it was best for her to leave.”
Thomas-Peterson said Crystal had told Silvino recently she was finally leaving.
Kristen Evans-Tasevoli, who lives in the unit across from Martinez-Perez, said she didn’t hear any commotion Sunday night until the police sirens. She said Silvino was down on the ground and turned himself in when authorities arrived.
“She was having issues long before this took place,” Evans-Tasevoli said. “He was quiet. I never would have thought he would have done this, knowing him so long.”
Both Thomas-Peterson and Evans-Tasevoli remembered Crystal as a loving mother who was outgoing, friendly and hardworking. Friends said she grew up around Durango.
Crystal held several jobs through the years, mostly working at Sonic, and loved to dance. She celebrated her 37th birthday on Saturday at the Wild Horse Saloon.
“She was my dancing partner,” Thomas-Peterson said. “She always lit up the room with her smile, but the last pictures I have of her, you can see the sadness in her face and eyes.
“We’re still trying to wrap out minds around it. We can’t believe she’s gone.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for Crystal’s three children, which can be viewed here: https://www.gofundme.com/crystal-hogue-martinez-babies-fund.
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