Update: NM State Police continues investigation into NMSU student’s death

Ernesto Cisneros

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Emilia Rueda, 20, was an art student at New Mexico State University known for her caring personality.

Sunset Funeral Homes

Emilia Rueda, 20, was an art student at New Mexico State University known for her caring personality.

This article contains descriptions of suicide and domestic violence. If needed, the Aggie Health and Wellness Center provides mental health resources for students by visiting wellness.nmsu.edu or calling 575-646-1512. 

A spokesperson for New Mexico State Police confirmed Friday Sept. 23 that the death of New Mexico State University student Emilia Rueda is still being investigated, potentially as a murder-suicide. In the meantime, funeral arrangements for the 20-year-old have been made for Thursday Sept. 29. 

First reported by the Las Cruces Sun-News, Rueda and 19-year-old Carlos Esparza were both found dead by police in an apartment complex off Alamo Street on Monday Sept.19. New Mexico State Police relayed both of the individuals’ identities late last week. 

“At this point, it appears likely that this is a murder-suicide. A definitive determination will be made once all facts are collected and analyzed,” said Ray Wilson, NMSP public information officer. 

Wilson confirmed to The Round Up Wednesday (Sept. 29) that the NMSP Investigations Bureau is still investigating the case and is continuing to gather the facts at this time. 

Rueda was a junior at NMSU pursuing a degree in art and was excited to be working at The Paleta Bar, according to a GoFundMe page started by organizer Silvia King. 

“We hold strong to the last conversation we had with Emilia on Sunday night, excited about her junior year in college at NMSU, loving her job at The Paleta Bar, living life to her fullest,” King wrote.

In a recent update to the GoFundMe page, King suspected Rueda was killed by Esparza as the family awaits for the investigation to finalize. 

Many of you may have questions as to what happened to our precious Emilia and to be honest we do not have all of the answers yet. What we do know is that she was murdered by her boyfriend in her apartment,” King said.

Following the announcement of Rueda’s passing, community members have expressed their condolences and support for the late art student. 

NMSU Clay Club, where Rueda was an active member, said over an Instagram post that she was “light to all who knew her.” 

Margaret Goehring, department head of the art program, said in a statement on behalf of the entire department, that Rueda will be remembered for her caring personality.  

“She was such an optimistic and caring person, always ready to lend a helping hand. She showed talent and a wonderful work ethic and we were excited to see where her research would take her,” Goehring said. “ We mourn that her promise was cut short so unnecessarily.” 

A viewing and rosary for Rueda will take place Thursday Sept. 29 from 5-9 p.m. in El Paso at the Sunset Funeral Home. Rosary starts at 6 p.m. A mass will be held on Friday Sept. 30 at 10 a.m. at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church. 

Those who knew Rueda are encouraged to wear pink, her favorite color.


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