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Cortez woman faces murder charge in uncle’s slaying

Latonya Laura Ahasteen (Courtesy 22nd Judicial District Attorney's Office)
Latonya Laura Ahasteen faces charge of second-degree homicide, is held on $750,000 bond

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder in the slaying of Alvin Cayatineto, whose body was found last week in a camp trailer south of Cortez.

Latonya Laura Ahasteen, 30, was arrested at The Bridge Shelter in Cortez on Wednesday evening by a Cortez police officer on a homicide warrant. She is in custody at the Montezuma County Detention Center and is being held on a $750,000 bond, said 22nd Judicial District Attorney Matt Margeson.

Ahasteen faces a charge of second-degree murder, according to the warrant issued by the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office.

Formal charges will be filed by the District Attorney’s Office on Monday in front of Chief Judge Doug Walker.

Cayatineto’s body was discovered the evening of March 11 by family members who visited his camp trailer, parked at 5603 U.S. Highway 491, the property of CDL Trucking, where he worked.

He had been beaten on the head and stabbed in the chest and neck, according to the autopsy and arrest affidavit.

A man found dead in the tan camp trailer at 5603 U.S. Highway 491 has been ruled a homicide, according to the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office.

Coroner George Deavers ruled the death a homicide and reported he had died two to three days before his body was found. Two knives and a bar that contained blood were found at the scene.

According to the arrest affidavit, Ahasteen and her sister, Tanya Ahasteen, were living at the trailer with Cayatineto, who was their uncle.

During an interview with Montezuma County Sheriff’s Detective John Haynes, witness Tanya Ahasteen said she and Latonya Ahasteen had started drinking the morning of March 9 while Cayatineto was away receiving dialysis treatment.

After he returned, he and Latonya Ahasteen began arguing, according to the affidavit.

Tanya Ahasteen said she initially tried to get them to stop arguing then left the camp trailer and sat in Cayatineto’s Nissan Rogue and listened to music.

When she went back in the trailer, she told investigators, Latonya Ahasteen had a pole in one hand and knife in another, and that Cayatineto was gasping for air and covered in blood.

“During the interview, Tanya became visibly emotionally upset and began crying and screaming,” Haynes said in the affidavit.

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The sisters left the scene in the Nissan Rogue, with Tanya Ahasteen driving. A short time later, she got in a vehicle crash on North Broadway and was arrested for DUI by the Cortez Police Department.

“Rather than notify authorities, Tanya chose to drive away from the scene with her sister in the vehicle,” Haynes said in the affidavit.

Passenger Latonya Ahasteen was arrested for violation of a protection order related to consuming alcohol. She was released on bond and, after an investigation, was arrested on the homicide warrant.

Latonya Ahasteen has unrelated criminal cases pending in Montezuma County District Court. In one case, she has been accused in a robbery of an at-risk person, and in another, of third-degree assault, said Assistant District Attorney Will Furse.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation assisted in the homicide investigation.