Tucumcari woman’s death may have been homicide, police say

By Darrell Todd Maurina

The death of a Tucumcari woman Tuesday evening is being investigated as a homicide, police said.
Police and emergency medical personnel responded about 6:38 p.m. to a report that Joan Vance, 62, was unconscious in the Sundowner Gallery and Gifts business. She was transported to the Dan C. Trigg Hospital in Tucumcari where she was pronounced dead, according to a press release from the Tucumcari Police Department. Her body was later transported to the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque.
State police agent Joshua Armijo confirmed that Vance was an employee of Sundowner Gallery and Gifts.
Lt. Robert San Roman of the state police in Santa Fe said officials had no one in custody in connection with Vance’s death.
San Roman declined to say why police believe Vance’s death was a homicide; he declined to specify whether a weapon had been used in her death.
“We are, for investigative reasons, not releasing a lot of information,” San Roman said. “A lot of this stuff we cannot release and other things I just don’t know. The motive is currently under investigation.”
Vance’s death is the first homicide investigation in Tucumcari in four or five years, Tucumcari Police Chief Dennis Townsend said.

Quay County Sun staff writers TV Hagenah and Courtney Cramer contributed to this report.