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For Immediate Release

September 26, 2016 Deputy U.S. Marshal Yvette Soto,
District of New Mexico
(575) 386-4223

 U.S. Marshals Task Force Arrest 18 Year Old Woman for Murdering a 20 year old man and for Stabbing a Woman and Leaving Her for Dead

Las Cruces, NM- The United States Marshals Service/ Las Cruces office, Las Cruces Police Department and State Police arrested 18 year old Damika Childs yesterday after finding a dead body inside the locked trunk of a burnt vehicle on Thursday.

Police were responding to a call of a vehicle fire near the Dona Ana Mountains around 3 p.m. when the call immediately changed to a rescue call and then turned into a full blow homicide investigation.

Victim Erica Mejia managed to escape from the burning vehicle and had to be airlifted to an El Paso hospital for medical treatment for a stab wound to her neck. The burnt body that was then located in the trunk of the vehicle was identified as 20 year old Johnny Ramirez's body, from Las Cruces.

The investigation led to the arrest of another suspect, 24 year old Adrian Banda, who was located, arrested and also charged with murder.

Damika Childs is also being charged with the kidnapping of Erica Mejia and assaulting her with a knife. Childs may also be facing charges of tampering with evidence, conspiracy, kidnapping and aggravated battery. Childs was located and placed under arrest while walking along the Alameda arroyo on Sunday and was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center, on Monday.

Mejia is still listed in stable condition.

The investigation is still ongoing and local law enforcement is encouraging anyone with information to contact police immediately. This case originated with New Mexico State Police.

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