On Saturday, the family of Juan Muñoz, a 20-year-old National Guardsman, who has been missing since February, held a gathering of about 50 people across the street from the New Mexico State Police (NMSP) station on Paseo del Cañon, reported the Taos News.
Muñoz’s family is trying to get NMSP investigators to seek answers about his disappearance. His car was found at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge with all of his belongings, which the investigators have brushed off as a suicide, which is common at the Gorge Bridge.
But Muñoz’s family have brought attention “that the guards at the Gorge Bridge had seen Muñoz’s car pull up, followed by another car, shortly after 8 p.m. on Feb. 19th, the day before Muñoz’s disappearance.”
Elizabeth Rivera, Muñoz’s mother, said that she has tried calling Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for her help several times but had not yet received any responses.
“He wanted to serve this country and they’re giving up on him. That’s not right. They can’t give up on somebody that wanted to fight for our country,” said Carla Muñoz, Juan’s cousin, as she questioned why they were not able to see footage of Juan leaving the National Guard Armory, and were given different answers as to why not.
“You guys make them swear a commitment to you guys expecting them to be there every weekend, but when they go missing you give up just like that?” asked Vidal Aragon, another of Juan’s cousins, of the National Guard, who they hope will assist in the investigation. “We need you guys to show us that he left that base.”
The News reported that “Several family members pointed out that at the beginning of the rally, there were several state police officers across the street, but that they quickly departed. Some of Muñoz’s cousins also pointed out a NMSP officer parked around the corner with the vehicle on, seemingly watching the event.”
It is still unclear if the family has gotten ahold of Gov. Lujan Grisham’s office for help since Saturday, but they are organizing three more rallies: one by the Gorge bridge, one at the Taos plaza, and one in front of the Roundhouse in Santa Fe.