State Police Arrest Man For Kidnapping In Rio Arriba County

Brenton rael

Photo Courtesy NMSP


On Feb. 29 the New Mexico State Police Investigation Bureau was called to investigate a kidnapping that occurred in Espanola.

At approximately 2:00 a.m., State Police Uniform officers responded to the Ohkay Owingeh Police Department in reference to a female who reported she had been kidnapped in Espanola.  During the investigation, agents learned the female was kidnapped at gunpoint and forced into the front passenger seat of a vehicle off of Taos Lane.

Agents identified Brenton Rael, 44, of Petaca as the suspect who kidnapped the female. Once inside the vehicle, the female victim was struck by Rael numerous times and strangled by an unidentified female who was with Rael. The female victim also had her eyes taped shut and covered by a bandana.  She was driven to a residence in El Duende where her clothing was removed, and she was saturated with Clorox bleach.  The female victim was injected with heroin and driven to a bridge off US Highway 74, where she was pushed off the bridge into the river.  The female victim floated down the river and was able to make it onto the riverbank.  She walked to a nearby residence where she called law enforcement.

Agents were able to locate and obtain a search warrant for Rael’s residence. During a search of the residence, agents found evidence described by the kidnapped female including tape, Clorox, a red strap, a blue bandana, human hair and a bag of clothing that belonged to the kidnapped victim inside the residence.  Officers located a red bandana near the bridge on US Highway 74.

On Saturday, Feb. 29, a no bond arrest warrant was issued for Brenton Rael from the Rio Arriba County Magistrate Court.  Rael was arrested in Espanola on Monday, Mar. 2 without incident.  He was booked into the Rio Arriba County Detention Center in Tierra Amarilla.  Rael was charged with the following:

  • Kidnapping (1st Degree Felony)
  • Aggravated Battery (Use of a Deadly Weapon) (3rd Degree Felony)
  • Tampering with Evidence (3rd Degree Felony)
  • Assault with Intent to Commit a Felony (With Intent to Kill) (3rd Degree Felony)
  • Conspiracy (4th Degree Felony)