(IGNACIO, Colo.) — A man is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder involving the death of an endangered woman who went missing Sunday morning on Nov. 27.
Luis Raul Valenzuela, 34, was taken into custody following an investigation by the Ignacio Police Department (IPD) on Saturday, Dec. 3. His first court appearance is set for Monday, Dec. 5.
A Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Missing Endangered Alert was issued for 28-year-old Raeanna “Nikki” Burch-Woodhull, an Indigenous woman from Ignacio, at the request of IPD on Saturday. Her body was found near Colorado State Highway 550 and County Road 310, south of Durango the same day. Investigators believe the suspect is known to the victim.
The La Plata County Coroner made the identification of the remains and will have an autopsy scheduled.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been requested to conduct the investigation and the processing of the crime scene. CBI will work closely with IPD, the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, La Plata County Coroner’s Office, and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR) Office of the Department of Public Safety.