New Mexico Police arrest one in murder investigation

Santa Fe –New Mexico State Police have arrested Blaine Olivas, 27 of Clayton, on an open count of murder and two counts of tampering with evidence relating to the Oct. 12 death of John A. McKnight, 33 also of Clayton.

The two counts of evidence tampering stem from the disposal of a muzzle-loaded ball and powder handgun and efforts by Olivas to elude capture.

Olivas is being held on a bond of $60 thousand at the Union County Detention Center.

“The arrest was the result of outstanding cooperation and an intense investigation conducted by the New Mexico State Police, Union County Sheriff's Department, Clayton Police Department and the Eighth Judicial District Attorney's Office,” said a press release.

Olivas was identified as a suspect and after he was located on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2004, he was booked into the Union County Detention Center on an unrelated and outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrant. (Failure to appear at the Colfax Detention Center on a charge of driving on a suspended license.)

On Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2004, at approximately 9:21 p.m., the New Mexico State Police was notified and responded to State Road 402, approximately four miles south of Clayton, N.M., near mile marker 59. A passing motorist had discovered a body later identified as McKnight, on the west side of the roadway.

Investigators later learned McKnight had died as the result of a gunshot wound.


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