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Las Cruces police following old & new leads on 30-year anniversary of bowling alley massacre

The scene of the Las Cruces bowling alley massacre 30 years ago.
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The scene of the Las Cruces bowling alley massacre 30 years ago.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- Las Cruces police said Thursday that they were following both old and new leads in a three-decade old mass shooting that ultimately claimed five lives and left two wounded survivors at a local bowling alley.

In addition, to mark the upcoming 30-year anniversary of the slayings, Las Cruces Crime Stoppers announced an increase in the reward offered - from $25,000 to $30,0000 - to identify the gunmen.

LCPD Det. Amador Martinez, speaking at a news conference on the Feb. 10, 1990 tragedy at Las Cruces Bowl, said the unsolved case remains a very active investigation and police are re-examining forensic evidence using new scientific techniques.

"This case has not been forgotten, it's not sitting on a shelf," he said. "We're following leads year-round. Every lead we get, I follow." (You can watch the detective's entire remarks in the video player below.)

Martinez admitted the case has been frustrating for him as an investigator because none of the new leads thus far has solved the case.

"I get a lot of new leads," Martinez said in response to a question. "As for the frustration, it’s extremely frustrating."

Authorities said two gunmen entered the bowling alley at 1201 E. Amador Avenue and shot the victims execution style. Sketches of the two men sought, both Hispanic with dark complexions, have circulated for years - but to date there have been no arrests made.

It was one of the most hideous crimes in Las Cruces history, as some of the shooting victims included young children.

The four killed initially in the attack were 26-year-old Steven Teran, his 6-year-old daughter Paula Holguin, his 2-year-old daughter Valerie Teran, and 13-year-old Amy Hauser.

Wounded during the shooting were 12-year-old Melissa Repass, her mother Stephanie Senac, 34, and 33-year-old Ida Holguin (no relation to Paula). Senac, however, died several years later from complications stemming from her shooting injuries.

The surviving 12-year-old, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds, is credited by police as heroically calling 911 that tragic morning to alert authorities to the crime.

Among those present at Las Cruces City Hall for Thursday's news conference was Anthony Teran, who came to hoping to hear that arrests had finally been made for the killings of his brother Steven and his two nieces.

"I’d much rather hear that they caught these two suspects and everybody that’s involved with it,” Anthony Teran said. “I still know what it feels like from day one, immense pain, anger.”

Like the detective assigned to the case, Teran also expressed his frustration that the murders remain unsolved. He said his brother’s death still haunts him, and the fact that killers haven't been brought to justice remains an ongoing nightmare.

“Having to go through this and drag it out year after year, day after day, its very frustrating to still be at square one 30 years later,” Teran told ABC-7.

Also after all these years, no memorial has been erected honoring the victims of that massacre. But that could soon change.

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima told ABC-7 that he and other city leaders are now talking about a memorial to keep the memory of those who died alive.

“And I think it's also fitting that we include some of the survivors that are here in Las Cruces so that we can get an idea from them, to see exactly what they would like to see us do,” the mayor said.

Police urged anyone with tips about the decades-old slayings to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Authorities added that tips could also be provided anonymously online at NMCrimeStoppers.org or through the Crime Stoppers app, “P3 TIPS.”

New Mexico / News / Top Stories / Video

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

Saul Saenz

El Paso native Saul Saenz is a veteran reporter who also hosts ABC-7 Extra.

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