New Mexico man, 35, on probation is arrested ‘for beating his wife to death with an AX’ after cops used data from husband’s GPS ankle monitor to locate victim’s body in national forest
- Armando Zamora charged with murder for allegedly killing his wife, Erica Zamora, 39, with an ax during argument
- Wife’s body was found in Gila National Forest on October 3, a week after her last sighting when she and Armando went to chop firewood
- State Police used data from GPS ankle monitor Armando was wearing because of a 2019 conviction for sexual contact with a minor
- Armando allegedly confessed to killing his wife with ax after she punched him during an argument
- Husband and wife were in the middle of divorce proceedings
A New Mexico man on probation who had to wear an ankle bracelet to monitor his movements after a 2019 conviction has been arrested for allegedly beating his wife to death with an ax after police used data from the GPS device to find her body in a national forest.
Armando Zamora, 35, was charged with murder on suspicion of killing Erica Zamora, 39, after her body was found in the Gila National Forest last Sunday, New Mexico State Police said in a statement.
Erica was reported missing last Friday, October 1, after she had not been heard from since September 26, the day the couple went to the nearby forest to chop firewood, police said.
Armando Zamora (left) has been arrested in New Mexico and charged with murder for allegedly killing his wife, Erica Zamora, 39 (right), with an ax during an argument
The wife’s body was found in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico on October 3, a week after her last sighting when she and Armando went to chop firewood
After learning that Armando wore an ankle monitor because of a 2019 conviction for sexual contact with a minor under the age of 13, investigators checked GPS coordinates to see where he had been recently, which included the wood-cutting site.
‘A sergeant searched the area and located a deceased female matching the description of Erica Zamora,’ the state police stated.
Armando had told investigators he last saw his wife on September 28 when he dropped her at her separate residence but on Sunday after her body was found, he ‘admitted to beating Erica to death’ with an ax, the statement said.
According to a police report, Armando told investigators that the couple argued during the drive to the forest and that he killed her after she punched him at the wood-cutting site, KOAT-TV reported.
A search of the Zamora’s home in Silver City was said to have turned up an ax believed to have been used in the wife’s killing.
The couple had a pending divorce case that was initiated by the husband in June after a 10-year marriage, according to court records.
Erica’s brother, Louise Palomarez, wrote in a Facebook post that his sister ‘was murdered in cold blood by the very person she loved most…’
Armando allegedly confessed to killing his wife with an ax after she punched him during an argument. The husband filed for a divorce from Erica, his wife of 10 years, in June
Erica’s obituary described her as ‘one of the most selfless, kindest, and generous people you could have ever met.’
‘Erica was the type of person to give you everything she had, even though she stayed with nothing. She made an impact on so many of people’s lives that came in contact with her.’
Armando Zamora’s criminal record in New Mexico includes charges of DWI, possession of firearms by a felon, aggravated battery and aggravated battery upon a peace officer.
Armando pleaded guilty in 2019 to criminal sexual contact with a child under 13 and was sentenced to six years in prison, five of which were suspended. He was put on supervised probation with an ankle monitor in December 2020.