Homicide victim identified, suspect arrested


A local woman has been identified as the victim of a homicide that occurred in the Vista subdivision early last week.

Millie Mestas, 47, of Archuleta County, was identified as the deceased female located within a home in the Vista subdivision, according to an Aug. 9 press release from the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO).

ACSO Undersheriff Derek Woodman previously explained that the incident is believed to have happened on the night of Aug. 6 and that the ACSO received a call from a reporting party at 4:45 a.m. on Aug. 7.

The reporting party allegedly went over to the victim’s home to get some personal items and discovered the victim inside the home.

According to the ACSO’s press release, the complexity of the crime scene required the ACSO to request assistance from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI).

CBI agents assisted with interviews, as well as the collection and preservation of evidence located on scene, per the ACSO press release.

Woodman notified The SUN that a gag order had been put in place for information pertaining to this case as of the afternoon of Aug. 12.

The gag order, put in place by the Sixth Judicial District Court, restricts the ACSO’s discussion with any member of the public relating to this case, Woodman explained in a follow-up interview.

Following an autopsy performed on Aug. 8, Mestas’ cause of death was determined to be from “multiple stab wounds to the neck and back,” the ACSO press release reads.

Due to the nature of Mestas’ injuries, the ACSO investigated her death as a homicide, the press release explains.

As the investigation went on, several individuals were interviewed and some suspects were identified, the press release notes.

Also on Aug. 8, information related to the death of Mestas pointed to a suspect who was later identified as Christopher Ross Maez, 52, of Archuleta County, according to the ACSO press release.

The press release explains that, on Aug. 8, Maez was interviewed regarding Mestas’ death, and at the end of the interview was arrested for unrelated outstanding warrants for failing to appear in Archuleta County and Montezuma County.

Additionally, Maez had an outstanding warrant for violation of bail bond conditions in Archuleta County, according to the press release.

ACSO detectives began compiling information from the investigation, ultimately presenting an affidavit of probable cause to obtain an arrest warrant for Maez from the Sixth Judicial District Court.

On. Aug. 9, that warrant was signed by a judge and served on Maez at the La Plata County Detention Center.

Maez was then booked into the facility and charged with:

• Murder 1 - after deliberation.

• Murder 1 - extreme indifference.

• Assault 1 - serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon.

• Domestic violence.

Bond was set for Maez at $1 million.

Those who may have tips related to the ongoing investigation can contact the ACSO at 264-8430.