BELEN — A man wanted for murder was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon, after a three-hour standoff with multiple law enforcement agencies.

The Valencia County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip on Tuesday, Feb. 6, that Gilbert Duran, 42, of Los Lunas, was at an apartment complex on the 100 block of North Third Street in Belen.

Gilbert Duran

Duran was wanted on a warrant for an open count of murder in connection with the death of El Cerro Mission resident Rebecca Baldonado, 37.

VCSO was called out to El Cerro Mission at about 7:30 a.m., Monday, Feb. 4, where Baldonado was found dead.

Sgt. Joseph Rowland, the public information officer for VCSO, said surveillance of the location on Third Street was established about noon and Duran’s presence at the complex was confirmed.

A perimeter was established around the location, Rowland said, comprised of officers from the sheriff’s office, Belen and Los Lunas police officers, New Mexico State Police, the U.S. Marshall’s Office, the Belen Consolidated Schools school resource officer and a unit from the BNSF police. The regional SWAT unit was also activated and on scene.

Officers established communication with Duran, who was in one of the apartments, Rowland said.

“He came out peacefully with two other individuals,” Rowland said. “They are currently being questioned about what happened today, not the murder.”

When Duran exited the apartment, he was unarmed, Rowland said, but the VCSO criminal investigation division has obtained a warrant and is searching the home.

“I don’t know what relationship Duran had to this location or the two people he came out with,” Rowland said. “CID is questioning them.”

During the incident, schools in the vicinity were placed on a lock down and the Belen Consolidated Schools school resource officer coordinated the evacuation of the students from the school sites once classes were over.

“Once school was out, students left the area to the west, away from the activity,” Rowland said. “Medical was staged in the area and there were no reported injuries. The Valencia County Sheriff’s Office wants to thank all our local partners for their assistance today.”

Duran has been booked into the Valencia County Detention Center and is being held on no bond for charges of murder and tampering with evidence, as well as two district court warrants.

What’s your Reaction?
+1
0
+1
0
+1
0
+1
1
+1
0
+1
0

Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.