Man’s death still under investigation after one year

By William Thompson: Quay County Sun

A year has passed since a 20-year-old Logan cowboy died on a ranch near Grady, but New Mexico State Police still have not ruled on what caused his death.

At the time of Juan Lucero’s death on Feb. 24, 2004, State Police Sgt. Cleo Baker said it appeared Lucero had accidentally strangled himself while gathering cattle on horseback.

New Mexico State Police Public Information Officer Jimmy Glasscock said Thursday the incident is still under investigation.

“There is no evidence of criminal activity at this time, but I want to say that the investigation is ongoing,” Glasscock said.

Officials have said Gregg Gudgell notified authorities of Lucero’s death. Gudgell has declined to talk about the incident, but his attorney described the death as a tragic accident.

“Gregg Gudgell found him (Lucero),” attorney Warren Frost said. “He rode his horse back to where he had left Juan Lucero. When he got back to that place it looked to him like Juan Lucero’s horse had fallen because of the way the snow and mud were disturbed. He followed the tracks over a hill and there was Juan, obviously deceased.”

Frost said the entire Gudgell family has been devastated by Lucero’s death.

Glasscock said state police recently met with Lucero family members, but Angela Lucero, Juan’s sister, declined to discuss anything with the newspaper.