A New Mexico municipal judge and her pets were killed in an apparent murder-suicide by the judge’s husband just hours after a friend of the couple received a “troubling message.”
The bodies of Diane Albert, 65, and Eric Pinkerton, 63, were found in their home Friday, along with several dogs and a cat, authorities said.
Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office officials found the two as they reported to their home in the 800 block of Ranchitos Road for a welfare check.
Jayme Fuller of the sheriff’s office said police believe Pinkerton shot the animals and his wife before taking his own life.
Diane Albert’s body was found along with her husband and several dead animals inside their New Mexico home on Friday.
Law enforcement officers were seen on the scene with several crates of animals.
Fuller said a friend of the couple contacted the sheriff’s office just before 4 pm “after receiving a concerning message” from Pinkerton.
“A friend of the deceased contacted officers after receiving a concerning message from Eric Pinkerton,” a post from the law enforcement agency said.
In the message, the friend said, Pinkerton claimed he had shot his wife and dogs and was going to kill himself.
‘He left a voicemail for his friend saying he murdered his wife, his dogs and his cat. And he is about to kill himself,” a dispatch message read, according to KOAT.
Albert is a former municipal judge for the village of Los Ranchos, which borders Albuquerque, and a former planning and zoning commissioner for the North Valley community.
She also served as a Los Alamos County commissioner and president of the Bike Coalition of New Mexico, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
Investigators arrived on scene in the 800 block of Ranchitos Road in Bernalillo County.
Inside, officers found the bodies of Albert and Pinkerton, as well as several dead animals.
New Mexico State Auditor Brian S. Colón remembered his friend on a Facebook page Saturday.
Colón described the municipal judge as ‘a kind soul who always encouraged me and others.’ He said that she “always came into our house with a smile and usually with her bike helmet on.”
Los Ranchos administrator Ann Simon also remembered her friend, calling the woman a “brilliant mind.”
“We are heartbroken to hear the news of this senseless tragedy,” Simon said.
This is the post the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office shared after discovering the bodies of Albert and Pinkerton on Friday.
‘Diane Albert, our municipal judge-elect, was a long-time Los Ranchos resident, a brilliant mind, and a friend.
“We cannot ignore that this happened on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,” said the administrator.
Joe Craig, a neighbor and former co-worker, said the news of her death and the matter of the incident shocked him and others.
“Just a nice, nice lady,” Craig said. ‘I’ve never seen her with a bad bone in her body.’
The matter is still under investigation by law enforcement.