Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, October 2, 2000
Autopsy results show same gun used in killings
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, October 2, 2000 - Preliminary autopsy reports indicate that the
three victims who died last week in a suspected double murder-suicide were
all shot with the same gun, according to law enforcement officials in Eddy
"We don't have a written report yet, just a verbal one," said Gary McCandless,
lead detective with the Eddy County Sheriff's Department. "The verbal one
indicates that both victims were shot with the same caliber gun."
McCandless was referring to Pecos residents Luis Mora and Lupe Mora,
who were both found dead just before midnight, CDT on Sept. 25 at a motel
in White's City, N.M. Eddy County deputies then contacted Pecos police,
who found a third person dead in the Moras' home on Cypress Street in Pecos.
Pecos Police believe Luis Mora killed Manuel "Bobby" Bitolas at Mora's
1310 S. Cypress Street home around noon on Monday, then drove his wife
to White's City, N.M., Monday night, where he killed her and then committed
"The female victim was shot once in the back and the male (Luis Mora)
had one gunshot wound to the head," said McCandless.
Everything is consistent with him abducting her from Pecos and no signs
were found at the crime scene of anybody else being in the room with, according
"The deadbolt had been locked from the inside, consistent with the murder/suicide
theory," he said.
The investigation is still ongoing and when it is completed will be
presented to the District Attorney's office in Eddy County, according to
McCandless. "My investigator is still working on it and when he feels he's
ready he will make his formal presentation," he said.
"The gun used in the murder/suicide is the same caliber and the ammunition
the same with the murder that occurred in Pecos," said McCandless. "It
appears to be the same weapon," he said, even though he didn't elaborate
on what the caliber or make of the gun was.
Pecos Police Investigator Kelly Davis said last Wednesday there was
probably about an 11-hour gap between the time Bitolas was killed in Pecos
and when the Moras died in New Mexico.
"This is just an estimation, but we've estimated the time of death for
Bitolas, at noon Monday even though Mora didn't contact police until (Monday
night)," Davis said.
According to family members, Bobby Bitolas was helping Lupe move some
items out of her home, when they were ambushed by Luis Mora, who was not
supposed to be at the residence at the time.
Preliminary autopsy reports on Bobby Bitolas indicate he was shot at
least twice. "He was shot once in the neck and once in the abdomen, the
other wound on his abdomen has not been determined yet, if it was a gunshot
wound also," said Pecos Davis.
McCandless said that the toxicology part of the autopsy report on the
Moras wouldn't be available for another 6-8 weeks. "That part takes longer,"
Band member marches despite blindness
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, October 2, 2000 - Jessica Thomasson is a typical 15-year-old
freshman at Pecos High School. She loves pizza, music and surfing the Internet.
"I live on the Internet," Jessica said.
Jessica's only one difference from the rest of the students at PHS is
that she is blind.
Jessica lost her sight when she was five-years-old, she said when it
happen she just had blurry sight.
"I didn't know what was going on," she said.
Now Jessica can only see lights and shadows, but that hasn't stopped
her from living her life the way she wants to.
Jessica is also a coronet player in the Pecos High School Marching Band.
"I just though it would be a challenge," she said.
Head Band Director William Goff said Jessica is able to march with the
help of student volunteers who guide her through the marching routines.
Goff said there are times that she cannot march because there are no
students available to assist her, but Jessica doesn't worry about that.
"I either march or I don't march," she said. "Sometimes I get frustrated
with the routines but it's fun."
Goff said Jessica catches on quick and hopes she will continue to improve.
"Considering everything she has to fight through she is doing very well,"
Jessica said there the only two things she makes sure to do while marching
is "don't get run over and don't get wacked by a horn."
Jessica, who has been marching since junior high, learns her music with
the help of her fellow band members.
Goff said through a program from the Foundation for the Blind, Jessica's
music is translated into Braille.
He said the program only translates the notes and does not translate
octaves so Jessica "has to be beside people that play the same part."
Jessica said that sometimes it's hard to learn the music so she asks
a fellow band member for help.
"Most of the time I get someone to play with me one on one," she said.
Goff said Jessica is willing to do what is asked of her and seems to
never miss a practice.
"I don't know of a time when she hasn't been here," he said.
The band is made up of over 200 students and Goff said, "She's just
one of the kids. There hasn't been any difference between her and the rest
Goff said the main goal is for Jessica to march in the UIL area marching
contest, scheduled for Oct. 21 at the Socorro Special Events Complex in
"The goal is to get her were she can compete at contest," he said.
Goff said there are no rules against Jessica marching in contest, just
a standard for competition that all the students must achieve.
"We'll try to give her every opportunity to reach that standard," he
Jessica said her parents, Cindy and Gary, and her two brothers, Jason
and Jeremy, have been her main supporters.
She said Jeremy, who works as an assistant band director at Alpine High
School, loves that she is in the marching band and is the one who pushes
her the most.
Jessica said when Alpine played the Eagles; Jeremy pointed her out to
his whole band.
"He brags about me to his band," she said.
Jessica made a big step at Friday night's game in Monahans.
With a little help from the band member next to her, Jessica marched
without an assistant.
What's next for Jessica?
She plans to stay in marching band all four years in high school and
since she enjoys animals she would like to be a veterinarian but right
now she's concentrating on being a teenager.
"Being a freshman is tough but I'm getting there," Jessica said.
Police probe Friday death of man
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, October 2, 2000 - The Pecos Police Department is investigating
the death of a Pecos man this weekend.
Nicholas P. Hernandez, 34, was pronounced dead at 9:36 p.m., on Friday
at Reeves County Hospital after an ambulance transported him there from
the 600 block of South Orange Street.
Investigator Kelly Davis said the exact cause of death is under investigation,
but they do not have any suspects.
"We don't suspect foul play," Davis said.
The police received a call at 8:31 p.m., on Friday from a man requesting
Davis said a friend of Hernandez' was the one who found him in the home
and asked a neighbor to call the police.
When police arrived they found Hernandez unconscious.
Davis said Hernandez was in possession of heroin at the time of his
death but the exact cause would not be determined until the autopsy and
toxicology report comes back.
"The toxicology in this case is the most important part," he said.
Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m., on Tuesday at Santa Rosa
Envirocare plans topic of meeting Saturday
PECOS, October 2, 2000 - A meeting for all concerned citizens will be held
at 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Barstow Community Center.
The meeting will be held to discuss Envirocare's application for the
radioactive nuclear waste facility to be located eight miles northeast
of Barstow in Ward County. This is everyone's opportunity to come out and
voice their opinion.
State Representative Bob Turner, who represents Ward County in the Texas
Legislature, will be on hand to discuss the issue.
Nicolas P. Hernandez, 34, of Pecos, died Friday, Sept. 29, 2000, at Reeves
A rosary will be held today at 7:30 p.m., at Martinez Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass is scheduled for 2 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Santa Rosa Catholic
Church with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.
He was born Dec. 12, 1965, was disabled, a lifetime Pecos resident and
He was preceded in death by one brother, Hipolito P. Hernandez.
Survivors include his parents, Gabina Pisana of Pecos, H.F. Hernandez
of Odessa; his grandmother, Rosenda Pisana of Odessa; four brothers, Alfonso
P., Johnny P. and Henry P. Hernandez of Pecos and Roberto P. Hernandez
of Carlsbad, N.M.; six sisters, Amelia Cameron, Sylvia Garcia, Lydia Davies,
Margarita H. Sanchez, Carolina H. Najera and Rosa Hernandez of Odessa.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Victoriano Juarez, Jr.
Victoriano Juarez, Jr., 42, of Barstow, died Saturday, Sept. 30, 2000,
at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.
A rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m., today, at Our Lady of Refuge Catholic
Church in Barstow.
Services will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Our Lady of Refuge
Catholic Church with burial in Barstow Cemetery.
Survivors include his parents, Victoriano Juarez, Sr. and Ofelia Juarez
of Barstow; two sons, Victor and Joseph Juarez of Monahans; three sisters,
Olga Garcia of Pecos, Irene Juarez of Sioux Fall, S.D. and Rachael Juarez
of El Paso; six brothers, Joe Juarez of Odessa, Benito Juarez of Barstow,
Danny and Israel Juarez of Sioux Fall, S.D., Ismael Juarez of Pecos and
Johnny Juarez of Dallas; and one grandchild.
Martinez Funeral Home of Odessa is in charge of arrangements.
Elbira Olibas, 80, of Monahans, died Saturday, Sept. 30, 2000 at her residence.
A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., today at Harkey Funeral Home Chapel.in
Mass is scheduled for 2 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 3, at St. John's Catholic
Church with Father John Lucido officiating. Burial will be in Monahans
She was born Oct. 23, 1919, in Grandfalls, was a homemaker and a Catholic.
Survivors include three sons, Pascual and Juan Olibas of Monahans and
Gome Olibas of Pecos; three daughters, Gloria Hernandez of Monahans, Anita
Valencia of Houston and Mary Elma Cavazos of Crane; one brother, Manuel
Ortiz of Monahans; one sister, Enriqueta Davila of Monahans; 21 grandchildren;
30 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Harkey Funeral Home of Monahans is in charge of arrangements.
John Osborn, 65, of Toyah, died Sunday, Oct. 1, 2000, at his residence.
Services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 3, at the Pecos Funeral
Home Chapel with Rev. J.R. Wooten officiating. Burial will be in Toyah
He was born Aug. 21, 1935, in Toyah, he was a retired farmer, a United
States Army veteran who had served in the Korean War and had lived in Pecos
He was preceded in death by his wife, one brother and two sisters.
Survivors include one son, Ray Osborn Keene of Waco; two daughters,
Renea Gallagher of Granbury and Denise Schroeder of New Braunfels; six
brothers, Charlie, Jim and Joe Osborn of Pecos, Jack Osborn of Toyah, Dan
Osborn of Huntsville, Tx. and Jay Walker of Mineral Wells; one sister,
Billie Hughes of Junction, and four grandchildren.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, October 2, 2000 - High Sunday 103. Low this morning 60. Forecast
for tonight: Clear. Low near 60. Southwest wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday: Sunny
and hot. High near 100. Southwest wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday night: Clear.
Low near 60. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High in the upper 90s.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise