Reporter: Alex Tomlin
Albuquerque, NM - It's a bizarre story that may not be over. The murdered Albuquerque man lost a lot of money that belonged to the cartel. Now police have arrested someone who showed up at the victim's home looking for that money.
The story takes a lot of twists and turns, and is a scary reminder of Mexican drug cartels' reach in our city.
Juan Tovar is dead and his family terrified his killers will come after them.
It all started about two weeks ago. Tovar's wife told police she went to Arizona to meet up with him. Instead she said they were kidnapped by Ebelyn Saenz (left) and two men; she managed to get away, and make it back to Albuquerque.
Two days later, after trying to reach her husband several times without any luck, she said she got text messages from him saying he was sorry and telling his family that he loved them. The next morning she learned he had been murdered in Mexico by a drug cartel.
Tovar's wife soon discovered that her husband had been working for a drug cartel and had been trusted with half a million dollars. Money he told the cartel had been confiscated by police in Georgia. The cartel didn't buy the story.
Since Saenz had hired Tovar she went looking for the missing cash. She told police she showed up at the Tovar home in Albuquerque on Tuesday because her bruja, or Spanish warlock, told her the half million dollars was buried in the backyard.
Terrified, Tovar’s family called police, and Saenz was arrested for extortion. Investigators said she told the Tovar family that if they didn't turn over the money they would be murdered by the cartel.
Tovar's family didn't want to speak on camera but they insist they know nothing about the money and are sure nothing is hidden in their backyard.
Saenz was already on probation after she was caught trying to smuggle drugs across the border. Investigators are in the process of revoking her probation after this latest arrest.