New Mexico woman, 18, is arrested in connection to the killing of former corrections officer


A New Mexico woman was arrested after she allegedly used Snapchat to lure a man to his kidnapping and schemed a ransom payment that led to the murder of his brother. 

Anna Bella Dukes, 18, was charged with murder, kidnapping, two counts of armed robbery and tampering with evidence in connection to the February 2021 killing of 24-year-old former corrections officer Elias Otero in Albuquerque. 

Dukes turned herself in on Monday after she was charged in December, the Albuquerque Police Department said. 

The young woman reportedly used Snapchat to lure Elias’s brother, 20-year-old Nicholas Otero, to Alvarado Park on the morning February 11, 2021, where he was kidnapped and carjacked by three people.  

The suspects then drove to the home of his brother, Elias, in Southwest Albuquerque and FaceTimed him asking for a $1,000 ransom, the Daily News reported. 

While the suspects held Nicholas at gunpoint during the call, they told Elias they would kill his younger brother if he didn’t pay the ransom. 

Elias Otero went outside his home with a gun to confront the suspects but was immediately killed by Dukes’ alleged 17-year-old boyfriend, Adrian Avila. 

Avila turned himself in last moth. He is facing the same charges as Dukes. It remains unclear who is the third suspect in the crime. 

Anna Bella Dukes, 18, was charged with murder, kidnapping, two counts of armed robbery and tampering with evidence in connection to the February 2021 killing of 24-year-old former corrections officer Elias Otero

Former corrections officer Elias Otero was killed after he went outside his home in Albuquerque to confront the kidnappers of his 20-year-old brother Nicholas

Former corrections officer Elias Otero was killed after he went outside his home in Albuquerque to confront the kidnappers of his 20-year-old brother Nicholas

Elias Otero had gone outside his home in Southwest Albuquerque with a gun to confront the suspects but was immediately killed by Dukes' alleged 17-year-old boyfriend, Adrian Avila

Elias Otero had gone outside his home in Southwest Albuquerque with a gun to confront the suspects but was immediately killed by Dukes’ alleged 17-year-old boyfriend, Adrian Avila

Elias Otero was allegedly killed by Dukes' 17-year-old boyfriend, Adrian Avila (pictured), police said. Avila turned himself in last moth. He is facing the same charges as Dukes

Elias Otero was allegedly killed by Dukes’ 17-year-old boyfriend, Adrian Avila (pictured), police said. Avila turned himself in last moth. He is facing the same charges as Dukes

Police said Dukes connected with Nicholas Otero on Snapchat, and the pair agreed to meet. He picked her up in his red Lexus and took her to Alvarado Park in the early hours of February 11. 

Albuquerque Journal reported that Nicholas grew suspicious after Dukes asked him where he kept his money, if he had any gun, and complimented him on his diamond-encrusted chain. 

Then, another car pulled up behind Nicholas’ Lexus carrying armed men. The suspects dragged the 20-year-old out of his car, and one of them held a gun to his head.

After robbing the victim of money and jewelry, the carjackers forced Nicholas back into his car and drove to his brother’s home in the 450 block of Timothy SW. 

They then demanded Elias Otero to come outside the house to pay the ransom for Nicholas’ release.

Elias reportedly emerged brandishing a gun and threatened to shoot the attackers, before he was taken down by Avila.

Nicholas Otero, 20, Elias' younger brother who connected with Dukes on Snapchat, escaped unharmed during the shooting

Nicholas Otero, 20, Elias’ younger brother who connected with Dukes on Snapchat, escaped unharmed during the shooting 

Elias, who was engaged to be married, was shot outside his home and pronounced dead at the scene in the early hours of February 11, 2021

Elias, who was engaged to be married, was shot outside his home and pronounced dead at the scene in the early hours of February 11, 2021

Nicholas and Elias’ sister called 911 at around 2.20am, reporting that her brother had been shot. The 24-year-old Elias was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Nicholas managed to escape unharmed, while the suspects fled on foot and in a second car they allegedly had stolen the day before, also using Dukes to lure the victim an Snapchat.   

Otero brothers’ mother told KRQE that while she was relieved Dukes had turned herself in to authorities, she wished it had happened sooner. 

‘My youngest son was carjacked and they wanted more than my car. They wanted his jewelry,’ Alicia Otero told abc. ‘They stripped him down. They took his credit cards and took whatever he had on him, but they wanted more money.’ 

‘Every day we wish that we get justice and, you know, someone to pay for what they did to him and knowing they finally turned themselves in, it just feels good that is not going to go unsolved,’ Alicia Otero told the outlet. 

‘I’m confident that justice is gonna be served,’ she added.    

Police at the Otero family home after the killing of Elias Otero in February 2021

Police at the Otero family home after the killing of Elias Otero in February 2021

Dukes turned herself in on Monday after she was charged in December, the Albuquerque Police Department said

Dukes turned herself in on Monday after she was charged in December, the Albuquerque Police Department said

Elias Otero's mother, Alicia, said he was doing well at work, he had his own place and he and his fiancé were starting to make plans to settle down

Elias Otero’s mother, Alicia, said he was doing well at work, he had his own place and he and his fiancé were starting to make plans to settle down

Elias Otero’s death has been a nightmare for his parents, his siblings, his fiancé and the rest of their close-knit family, his mom told the Associated Press in 2021. 

She said he was doing well at work, he had his own place and he and his fiancé were starting to make plans to settle down.  

‘He was very protective, his whole life. He was a correctional officer for years,’ Alicia said. 

Since her son’s murder, Alicia has been meeting regularly with other families who have lost their loved ones to violence – in hopes they can help stop the violence or just to have a shoulder to lean on.

‘Me and the other moms feel like no one is listening to us. No one is listening, like if their lives didn’t matter,’ said Otero in 2021. 

‘They’re not just a number – they’re everything to us.’

Since her son's murder, Alicia has been meeting regularly with other families who have lost their loved ones to violence - in hopes they can help stop the violence or just to have a shoulder to lean on

Since her son’s murder, Alicia has been meeting regularly with other families who have lost their loved ones to violence – in hopes they can help stop the violence or just to have a shoulder to lean on

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