A 12-year-old boy and his father are accused of murdering a woman in Colorado.
KRQE-TV reports that New Mexico authorities on Thursday morning arrested Heith Gleason and his 12-year-old son, Gage Gleason, at a McDonald’s in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Both were wanted by police in connection with the death of a woman in Colorado, according to Lt. Mark Soriano of the New Mexico State Police.
“It’s very concerning, a child so young being involved in something, in a crime so horrific as murder,” Soriano said.
Police apprehended the suspects after receiving a tip that their vehicle – a gray Dodge pickup truck – would be at the fast-food restaurant.
Around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, emergency responders were dispatched to a residence about 50 miles south of Pueblo, Colorado, according to the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office.
Officers found a burned vehicle and a female victim inside. The victim was burned so severely that she could not be initially identified.
Court records show obtained by the news outlet show that prosecutors have since charged the pair with murdering 41-year-old Amy Garcia of Walsenburg, Colorado.
One witness told authorities that Heith Gleason told Gage Gleason he had “earned his man card” because of his involvement in the killing, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
The relationship that the Gleasons had to the victim could not be immediately confirmed. However, a woman told the World Journal newspaper that the victim is her daughter who was being abused by her boyfriend. In one violent episode, the woman said the boyfriend dragged her daughter into a truck; he allegedly threatened to crash the vehicle but instead threw the daughter out.
The woman did not say whether the boyfriend was Heith Gleason.
The witness who tipped off authorities, a 24-year-old man, told police that Garcia might have been shot and burned. Investigators reportedly found bullet holes in the vehicle and casings at the scene.
According to the witness, he, Garcia and the Gleasons were together at the Gleason home when they went to Garcia’s residence to get alcohol. When Heith Gleason and Garcia came back out of the house, the witness reportedly said “their attitudes had changed.”
After the group returned to the Gleason’s house, the witness said Heith Gleason grabbed a gun, uttered “I’ll kill her,” and went outside. The witness said he then heard a gunshot.
The son, Gage Gleason, then took a .22-caliber rifle and exited the home. At this point, there was another gunshot, and the witness said he heard Heith tell Gage that he had “earned his man card,” court records state.
A man who claimed to be Heith Gleason called police around 10 a.m. Thursday to report that he and his son murdered someone, according to court records. He said they were driving to North Carolina for Christmas.
Police also seized four dogs during the arrest.
The elder Gleason is being detained in the Santa Fe County Jail, while Gage Gleason remains in a youth detention center.