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Aug 19, 2010 7:37 PM by David Ortiviz

Murder victim's brother-in-law reported missing

A bizarre twist in a murder in Otero County. News First 5 has learned a few days after a man was found dead in a field, his brother-in-law was reported missing. The missing man, Julian Pena is now a person of interest, according to Otero County Sheriff Chris Johnson.

On July 18, Ronnie Griego's body was found in a field southwest of Manzanola. The coroner says the 44-year old died from a stomach injury. Authorities are still investigating how Greigo was killed. They said it appears it body had been in the field for some time.

Days later on July 22, Griego's brother-in-law Julian Pena was reported missing. A neighbor told us Pena's black Ford pickup was found abandoned, between corn fields south of Rocky Ford.

The Otero County Sheriff's Office and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation used a bloodhound to search the area, but there were no signs of Pena.

Pena's wife Robertitta Gallegos-Estrada who also goes by Peggy, told investigators she found the truck with her husband's cell phone left behind and was worried something bad happened to him.

A neighbor was also alarmed. "Little bit scary, they asked us if we heard anything the night prior--there was a lot of thunder and lightning so obviously we didn't hear a whole lot that would have alerted us to something concerning going on. I have four young kids and its very concerning. I'm definitely going to lock my doors as I do every night," said Kali Mendoza-Werner, who lives near the cornfields.

Pena worked in the corn field, so neighbors say it's not unusual his truck would be there. Pena lived just a few miles away at a house in Rocky Ford and according to a relative, that's where Ronnie Griego was last seen alive.

Pena remains missing. He also goes by the name Romeo Romero. If you know his whereabouts contact the Otero County Sheriff's Office at 719-384-5941.

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