More than two weeks after 52-year-old Arthur Loretto’s body was found in a room at the GreenTree Inn, with signs of possible head trauma and blood pooling on his chest from a stab wound, Santa Fe police have named no suspect.
His family members are offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest, and police are asking members of the public with knowledge about the case to come forward.
Santa Fe police Deputy Chief Paul Joye said Tuesday the investigation is still active.
Loretto’s death, discovered Feb. 21, was the second homicide of the year at the Cerrillos Road motel, a former Motel 6 that has a history of drugs, violence and other crime.
In early January, officers arrested Alvin Crespin, 45, on suspicion of murder after finding the body of 50-year-old Virgil Tortalita in a bathtub at the GreenTree Inn. Police said Tortalita’s body, which had signs of strangulation and stab wounds, might have been lying in the bathtub for days.
Police believe Crespin and Loretto were both members of the homeless community whose rooms were paid for by nonprofits as part of an effort to ease shelter crowding during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a heavily redacted police report on Loretto’s death, a motel cleaning crew found him unresponsive on the morning of Feb. 21, lying facedown in a corner of the room in a pool of blood that appeared to be several days old. The crew had last entered the room Feb. 17, the report said.
Loretto had been staying at the GreenTree Inn since Dec. 19 through a housing program at St. Elizabeth Shelters, officers wrote in the report. A shelter official told police he had been undergoing a sobriety program and had last checked in Feb. 17.
Although Loretto was the only person registered to stay in the room, police found signs of a struggle.
“Inside the room I observed two circular [indentations] in the drywall below the window and near the body,” one officer wrote in the report. “The [indentations] appeared to possibly be from the decedent’s head striking the wall.”
Several witnesses told officers Loretto’s nephew and a white dog were often with him at the motel. One man told police he had seen Loretto physically fighting with his nephew a few days earlier. The nephew was last seen at the motel Feb. 20.
Loretto had no run-ins with police, the report said, but had called the department Feb. 13 to report his nephew was bothering him.
Joye wrote in an email the department is “still soliciting information from the public on this case.” He asked anyone with information to contact Detective Luke Wakefield at 505-955-5406 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loretto’s family is offering a $2,500 reward for information and has started a campaign on Facebook to raise money for the Justice for Arthur Loretto Reward Fund.
In a post for the fundraising campaign, his sister, Carrie Loretto, described a man who had lost his parents at a young age and had experienced other losses and trauma, but was trying to get his life back on track.
“Why did this senseless tragedy take place?” she wrote. “To that end, I have started this fundraiser to raise money for a reward on any tips that lead to the arrest of the perpetrators.”