Authorities in Eddy County solve 14 year old cold case

Authorities in Eddy County solve 14 year old cold case

CARLSBAD, NM (KWES) - A press conference was held Wednesday afternoon at the Eddy County Sheriffs Office in Carlsbad. Deputies, the DA and others announced the Christmas Day murder of 20 year old Sasha Hedgecock had been solved after 14 years.

Eddy County Chief Deputy, Mark Cage said, "We reopened the case. We evaluated the evidence. We went and found new evidence and utilized DNA collection provided through Katie's Law to find a suspect, investigate the suspect and ultimately be able to charge him."

Wednesday morning police arrested Jeremy Melendrez in connection to Hedgecock's murder. Police were able to collect DNA  from Melendez because the state's recently passed Katie's Law which allows DNA taken upon an arrest. In this case DNA, was taken from Melendez after he was arrested on an unrelated felony. For Jayann Sepich and her family, the Melendez arrest hit close to home.

DNA Saves Co-Founder, Jayann Sepich said, "Eight months after Sasha was murdered, our daughter Katie was murdered. There's no such thing as closure and we can't bring our daughter back but knowing what happened is important."

Katie's Law has been passed in 28 states including Texas after the murder of Sepich's daughter Katie and with the arrest of Melendrez, Sepich feels the cloud over everyone in Carlsbad and Eddy County can finally be lifted.

"The whole city remembers when Sasha was murdered and they grieved for her and to have an arrest made is very important. It brings everybody a sense of resolution and helps us look forward," said Sepich. 

Melendrez is currently being held at the GEO Prison in Hobbs, New Mexico with a $500,000 dollar bond.

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