Colored Rock Map of Texas at I-20 in Pecos, Click for Travel Guide

Pecos Enterprise


Pecos Country History
Archive 62
Archive 74
Archive 87
1987 Tornado Photos
Rodeo Photos 88
Archive 95
Archive 96
Archive 97
News Photos 1997
Rodeo Photos 97
Archive 98
News Photos 1998
Rodeo Photos 98
Parade Photos 98
Archive 99
Photos 99
Archive 2000
Photos 2000

Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, October 2, 2000

Autopsy results show same gun used in killings

Staff Writer

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 County, N.M.

"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 suicide.

"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 to McCandless.

"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," he said.

Band member marches despite blindness

Staff Writer

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," he said.

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 of them."

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 El Paso.

"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 said.

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

Staff Writer

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 an ambulance.

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 Catholic Church.

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 Hernandez

Nicolas P. Hernandez, 34, of Pecos, died Friday, Sept. 29, 2000, at Reeves County Hospital.

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 a Catholic.

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

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 Monahans

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 Memorial Cemetery.

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

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 Cemetery.

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 since 1994.

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.

Search Entire Site:

Pecos Enterprise
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

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.

Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise