Two Arrested in La Junta Homicide

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05/18/2021–Two people have been arrested in connection with the homicide of a La Junta man occurring around 6:30 p.m., on Friday, May 14, 2021.

Matthew Perez (DOB: 10/07/1982) Garden City, Kansas, faces charges of First Degree Murder, and Nikki Olivas (DOB: 01/24/1989) Garden City, Kansas, faces charges of Accessory to First Degree Murder in connection to the homicide of Ernesto Apodaca DOB 05/20/1972. Apodaca was shot inside of his vehicle parked in front of his apartment building located in the 600 block of Sunrise Avenue in the Morningside Heights neighborhood Friday evening.

Perez and Olivas were arrested in Finney County, Kansas, just outside of Garden City. They were taken into custody near a residence without incident. The suspect vehicle was also located.

The suspects are currently being held without bond in the Finney County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility pending extradition to Otero County. 

It’s believed Apodaca and Perez are known to one another; however, the circumstances surrounding the shooting are part of the active investigation.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the La Junta Police Department Emergency Communications Center at (719) 384-2525 to be put in contact with an investigator.

This investigation is being conducted by the La Junta Police Department in cooperation with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Otero County Sheriff's Office, Colorado State Patrol, Finney County Sheriff’s Office (Kansas), Garden City Police Department (Kansas) Otero County Coroner's Office and the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. 

All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.