Questions remain in man’s death

William Thompson

Juan Lucero, a 20-year-old cowboy from Logan, died on a ranch near Grady in February. New Mexico State Police officials said Lucero’s death is still under investigation.
Lt. Nathan Wallace, of the New Mexico State Police, was reluctant to discuss the case but said state police investigators are awaiting lab results.

“We are still awaiting results from the FBI lab in Washington, D.C. and state labs in Santa Fe,” said Wallace. “We’ve followed every lead but we are still seeking information from anyone.” Wallace said Gregg Gudgell, the man who was with Lucero at the time of his death, has been interviewed by criminal investigators. “He has been interviewed by us,” said Wallace. “We have interviewed quite a few people.”

Adelina Lucero, the mother of the deceased cowboy, said members of the Lucero family have been interviewed by investigators in the case. ”The family is going to hold off on saying anything until the investigation is over,” said Lucero. “We have opinions about the case, but we don’t want them made public right now. I will say that I feel the case is moving way too slow.” Juan Lucero and Greg Gudgell were gathering cattle on a ranch 12 miles west of Grady the day Lucero died. At the time, Sgt. Cleo Baker of the state police said it appeared that Lucero had been accidentally strangled by his own rope while riding horseback.
Baker said Gudgell was the first to notify emergency personnel of Lucero’s condition.

“Gregg Gudgell, the man who was with Lucero, rode by horseback approximately one mile to the ranch house,” said Baker. Lt. Gary Ross of the criminal investigation division of New Mexico State Police, said Officer Chester Bobbitt and Agent Dina Orozco are the principal investigators in the Lucero case. “The Lucero case is still actively being pursued,” said Ross.

The Quay County Sun attempted to contact Gudgell for comment but he was not available for comment.