the first person at the scene
door neighbor told the APD case investigator that he saw Kait followed
from her apartment by a VW bug.
first person on record as having been at the crime scene was a man named
Paul Apodaca. Apodaca was driving a VW bug.
When Violent Crimes Detective Ronald Merriman and Officer Mary Ann Wallace arrived at the scene, Apodaca was already there, standing next to Kait’s car. His VW Bug was not in evidence. Apparently someone had taken off in the VW and left him there when they realized police were arriving.
Scene Photo Of Kait's Car
Police did not
take a statement from Apodaca and allowed him to leave the scene without
even getting his address, despite the fact that Apodaca had a long
record of violent crime, including several vicious attacks upon women.
In 1995, the
Arquettes’ private investigator was able to locate Apodaca and
interviewed him in jail where he was awaiting sentencing for kidnapping
and raping his 14-year-old stepsister. His stated reason for doing that
was to get sent to prison so he could protect a younger brother who was
serving 45 years for murder.
admitted to being at Kait’s scene that night, and told the P.I. that he
was driving a VW bug, the same make car that witnesses saw fleeing the
crime scene. When the P.I. asked him who drove the VW away, he became
very nervous and insisted that nobody was with him.
his reason for being in the neighborhood that night was to buy drugs
from his dealer, Lee Padilla. Lee Padilla is the brother of an APD
undercover narcotics officer, who was a friend of Mary Ann Wallace, the
first officer dispatched to the scene. The following year, when Apodaca
was arrested for shooting a victim from his VW Bug, he tried to get off
by presenting ID that showed him to be Lee Padilla.
Apodaca lived next door to – and hung out at -- a Mom and Pop convenience store and launderette that was frequented by An Quoc Le, (the Albuquerque control man for the Vietnamese car wreck scam and Dung Nguyen’s alibi for the night of Kait’s shooting.)