A New Mexico man identified as a person of interest in his girlfriend’s disappearance and possible killing in recent weeks was arrested in Nevada days after the woman was reported missing by her family.
Following 59-year-old Cecilia Barbara Finona’s disappearance, reported on June 1, Farmington Police Department investigators determined that her boyfriend, Jerry Jay, had likely fled the Farmington area to Southern Nevada in his white 2016 Ford F-150 with New Mexico plates 221RSM.
Farmington is located in the northwestern corner of New Mexico, near the Arizona, Utah and Colorado borders.
Days later, police got a hit: Jay had used an ATM in Las Vegas on June 1.
By June 4, he was arrested somewhere in Nevada on a warrant issued by Farmington police on one count of unlawful withdrawal from a financial institution, according to the department. Farmington police spokeswoman Georgette Allen did not release further details Thursday, including where the 57-year-old man was taken into custody.
Finona was still missing as of Thursday, and law enforcement from both states want answers.
In a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Farmington police Chief Steve Hebbe said that his department “is very concerned for the safety of Cecilia Finona.”
“Based on Jerry Jay’s actions up to this point, we do believe he is a person of interest in this case and holds information that is extremely important to ensuring her safe return,” Hebbe said.
Meanwhile, Todd Katowich, a Metropolitan Police Department homicide detective, said his team was seeking any information or surveillance photos or video of Jay while he was in Nevada.
Investigators believe Jay had been in the Las Vegas area, visiting Strip hotels and sleeping in his truck in resort parking lots, sometime between May 31, when Finona was last seen by her family, and June 4.
Finona is 5-foot-3 and weighs approximately 150 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes and sometimes wears glasses.
Anyone with information may contact Katowich at 702-828-6311 or T6360K@lvmpd.com, or Farmington Det. Daven Badoni at 505-599-1005.
This story has been updated to correct the name of the person of interest after Metro initially provided the wrong identification.