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2 arrested in connection with homicide in La Junta

Matthew Perez and Nikki Olivas
Posted at 6:30 AM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 12:39:24-04

LA JUNTA, Colo. — Two people were arrested in connection with the May 14 homicide of a La Junta man.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation announced Tuesday that the two suspects, 38-year-old Matthew Perez and 32-year-old Nikki Olivas, both of Garden City, Kansas, were arrested.

Perez faces a first-degree murder charge and Olivas faces charges of accessory to first-degree murder.

The charges stem from the homicide of Ernesto Apodaca, 48. He was found shot inside his car Friday evening in front of his apartment building along the 600 block of Sunrise Avenue in the Morningside Heights neighborhood, CBI said.

Authorities believe that Apodaca and Perez knew each other, according to CBI.

Perez and Olivas were arrested in Finney County, Kansas, just outside of Garden City. They are currently being held without bond at the Finney County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility. They will be extradited to Otero County.

The circumstances around the shooting remain under investigation, CBI said. In addition to the CBI, the La Junta Police Department, 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 are investigating this case.

Anybody with information on this crime is asked to call the La Junta Police Department Emergency Communications Center at 719-384-2525.