The Albuquerque man who found the bodies of two friends beaten beyond recognition — allegedly by three giggling teens who preyed on transients for kicks — said he's haunted by the sight.
"I don't sleep," Noe "Pancho Villa" Fierro told NBC News on Tuesday. "I never see something like that."
Fierro, a landscaper, said the victims were drinking buddies and he went looking for them early Saturday morning in a mattress-strewn lot where they liked to sleep.
"I thought they were passed out," he said, describing how he shook them to rouse them.
Then he got a look at their faces, which were "destroyed" — the result of being bashed repeatedly with cinder blocks, sticks and fists, according to police.
"I was scared and I ran to call 911," Fierro said.
Police said the bodies they found were so badly damaged the men could not be immediately identified.
They arrested three teens — Alex Rios, 18, Nathaniel Carillo, 16, and Gilbert Tafoya, 15 — who allegedly confessed to the killing and admitted to beating up at least 50 other homeless people.
Albuquerque Police spokesman Simon Drobik said detectives are trying to locate other victims.
"We're currently backtracking any and all reports that may be similar to this case," he said. "Unfortunately nobody has come forward.
"It's hard to get transients or homeless people to report crime especially when they been victimized. So we're trying to reach out to them to have them report," he added.
A homeless man named Charles Price said he recognized one of the three suspects as part of a gang who stomped and kicked him in his sleeping spot behind a Dumpster.
"I had to run for my life," he said, describing how he scaled a six-foot fence to get away. "I have some battle wounds," he added, displaying scars on his legs.
And Fierro said he had been attacked by the same group at least twice in the past, in the winter and just a month and a half ago.
In the latter incident, he said, he was with a woman — the mother of his friend Jerome "Skeets" Eskeets, who was injured in Saturday's ambush but escaped with his life.
Eskeets called the boys "cowards" who crept up on the defenseless in the dead of night, wearing T-shirts over their faces. He referred to one of the victims as his "brother."
"I hope justice gets done," he said, crying.
All three suspects were held on $5 million bond each. Prosecutors said they intend to try the two younger boys as adults.
Rios' lawyer said Tuesday that he would not comment on the charges.
First published July 22 2014, 1:10 PM