A New Mexico teenage girl is facing murder charges for a social media hostage scheme that went wrong, leaving the ransom-payer dead, according to police.
Anna Bella Dukes, 18, was arrested on Monday for her involvement in the February 2021 murder of former corrections officer Elias Otero, 24, Albuquerque police said.
Dukes has been charged with an open count of murder, two counts of armed robbery, and individual counts of kidnapping, tampering with evidence, and conspiracy.
Dukes Lured Otero's Brother to Park Where He Was Ambushed, Taken Captive
According to the warrant,Dukes met Otero's 20-year-old brother, Nicholas, via Snapchat and tricked him to an in-person meeting. Nicholas picked her up in a red Lexus and she lured him to Alvarado Park, where three armed men, including her 17-year-old boyfriend Adrian Avila, were waiting.
They then robbed Nicholas of money and jewelry before driving to Oteros' house, where they allegedly FaceTimed him while holding an automatic weapon to his brother's head.
They allegedly said they would hurt the brother if Otero did not come out with $1,000 ransom. The warrant further states that Otero instead went outside with a gun, and threatened to shoot the suspects. Investigators said that's when Avila shot and killed Elias. His little brother managed to get away. Otero was a concealed carry license holder.
Dukes was On the Run Since Last Month
Avila turned himself in to police last month, after learning a warrant had been issued for his arrest. Dukes, meanwhile, was on the run for nearly a month before authorities tracked her down and arrested her on Monday. Avila received the same charges as Dukes.
Grieving mom Alicia Otero told KRQE that she believes justice will be served for her son. "Every day we wish that we get justice and, you know, someone to pay for what they did to him and knowing they finally turned themselves in, it just feels good that it's not gonna go unsolved," she said.