Skip to main content

Apparent Murder-Suicide in La Junta: Four Victims Identified

By Raina Lucero

July 4, 2024

Last week, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the La Junta Police Department announced an investigation into an apparent murder-suicide at a home on Smithland Avenue in La Junta, Colorado.

Earlier this week, the Otero County Coroner’s Office released the names of the four victims:

  • Andrew Martinez Chavez, 30
  • Rhyle King, 24
  • Xena Gabriella Martinez-King, 2
  • Xander Martinez-King, 1

The CBI reported that La Junta Police officers responded to the home around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11. Upon arrival, they discovered two adults and one child dead from gunshot wounds. Another child was transported to a Denver-area hospital but later succumbed to their injuries.

Rhyle King’s mother, Lindsey King, expressed her grief, stating, “Rhyle was mom to two beautiful children in the prime of their lives. Xena was turning 3 next month, and Xander was an innocent 1-year-old enjoying the thrills of walking. Rhyle King and her daughter were killed instantly. Xander was transported to the children’s hospital where he remained on life support with orders to donate his organs to other children in need.”

La Teasha Ortega and Ramona Garcia, friends of Rhyle King, stated King lived in the home with her two children. While the police have not officially confirmed the shooter’s identity, Ortega and Garcia indicated that it was King’s ex-husband, Andrew Martinez Chavez.

“She wanted out of the marriage. She left and fought so hard to get away. When she finally did, she was starting to become happy again... I don’t know if it’s just something he couldn’t handle or just wasn’t ready to let go of yet,” said Garcia.

Ruben Romero, a neighbor, recounted that King had recently warned him about her ex-partner. He said he immediately knew she was in danger when he heard gunshots that night.

“She told me he’s not supposed to be here. I’m like, ‘He came back,’” Romero said. “He could’ve taken out more people if he wanted to be on a rampage or something. I don’t know his mental state, but it seemed like he knew what he was doing. He came here for one thing, and it was to end life.”

A GoFundMe account (https://gofund.me/2f4d952b) has been set up to help Lindsey King clean up the crime scene and bring her three loved one’s home to Oregon. “I need help to bring all three of my baby’s home. I need help for their services. I need help for the crime scene clean up that has to happen before we can collect their belongings from their home.”

The tragic event has left the community in shock and mourning.

For those in crisis, Colorado offers the following resources:

  • Call 844-493-TALK (8255)
  • Text TALK to 38255

Access 988, the nationwide mental health and substance use helpline by calling or texting 988, or visiting 988lifeline.org.

Other News