No motive yet for murder of New York man, Mexican girlfriend in Juarez

Border Crime

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Questions remained unanswered Friday regarding the shooting death of a New York man and his Mexican girlfriend earlier this week in Juarez.

Patrick Landers and Karla Baca Chavez were gunned down on Monday afternoon while inside the man’s black Jeep Wrangler near Lopez Mateos, one of Juarez’s main avenues, Mexican police said.

Mexican news reports say between 20 and 30 shots were fired at the Jeep by unknown assailants and that the couple had just come out of a cellphone store. Photographs of the Jeep with New York license plates show that most of the bullets struck the passenger seat, were the woman was seated, and show only three impacts on the driver’s side. Juarez police declined to comment on the details of the investigation.

Patrick Landers (left) and Karla Baca Chavez. (Public Facebook photo widely circulated on social media in the last few days)

But Chihuahua state Deputy Attorney General Jorge Nava said investigators have not yet established a motive for the double-homicide and that his office is in close communication with the U.S. consulate in Juarez. regarding the American’s death.

Landers, 32, listed Syracuse, N.Y., as his address on his Facebook page and said he was the owner of a real estate development company. He was also an avid golfer. Other social media platforms list him as being from Baldwinsville, N.Y.

Baca was a physical education teacher at a Juarez elementary school, but had taken a long leave of absence and only returned to Mexico on April 9 when her visa expired, Mexican news reports say. Her Facebook page includes some modeling shots and photographs from Paris and other places in Europe.

Baca’s murder is being investigated by officers from the Crimes Against Women Unit of the Chihuahua state police, but Mexican police declined to confirm if she was the target of the shooting.

Border Report on Friday reached out to the U.S. consulate in Juarez but did not receive a call back.

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