By Archuleta County Undersheriff Derek Woodman
On Aug. 7, at approximately 4:45 a.m., deputies from the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) responded to 318 Canyon Circle, a home in the Vista subdivision, in unincorporated Archuleta County, regarding a reportedly deceased female.
Upon arrival, deputies confirmed there to be one female party who was deceased inside the residence. Deputies immediately secured the scene and notified the Detective Unit with the ACSO.
Archuleta County Coroner Brandon Bishop was also notified. Bishop arrived on scene and pronounced the time of death and took custody of the deceased. The deceased was then identified as 47-year-old Millie Mestas of Archuleta County. Mestas was transported to Hood Mortuary in Durango, where an autopsy was conducted on Aug. 8.
Due the complexity of the scene, ACSO requested assistance from Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI). CBI agreed to assist and sent agents from their Grand Junction Office. CBI agents assisted with interviews and the collection and preservation of evidence located at the scene.
On Aug. 8, an autopsy was conducted. According to Bishop, the autopsy determined that Mestas died from “multiple stab wounds to the neck and back.”
Due to the nature of Mestas’ injuries, the ACSO continued to investigate the death of Mestas as a homicide.
Over the course of the investigation, several individuals were interviewed and suspects were indicated. On Aug. 8, information related to the death of Mestas pointed to a suspect who was identified as 52-year-old Christopher Ross Maez of Archuleta County.
On Aug. 8, Maez was interviewed regarding the death of Mestas. At the conclusion of the interview, Maez was arrested for unrelated outstanding warrants for failure to appear and violation of bond conditions (Archuleta County) and failure to appear (Montezuma County).
Detectives with the ACSO began consolidating all the information obtained from the investigation and presented an affidavit of probable cause to the Sixth Judicial District Court for an arrest warrant on Maez.
On Aug. 9, the warrant was signed by a judge and served on Maez at the La Plata County Detention Center.
Maez was booked into the facility and charged with the following:
-Murder 1 – after deliberation
-Murder 1 – extreme indifference
-Assault 1 – serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon
Maez’s bond was set at $1,000,000.
If anyone has any information that could aid in this investigation, please contact the Investigations Divisions at ACSO at 264-8430.