In a stark reminder that God created man with the uniquely human ability of self-evaluation, a man in New Mexico finally caved to his conscience and turned himself in for murder.
It only took him 15 years.
According to The Associated Press, Tony Peralta turned himself in to Roswell police and admitted to murdering William Blodgett, his landlord at the time.
The family and girlfriend of 69-year-old Blodgett reported not seeing him since December 2008.
Peralta, 37, was arraigned on May 30 on a charge of first-degree murder.
Curiously, Peralta and his legal representation are pleading not guilty. They are making those claims despite Peralta previously telling police “I confess.”
“I confess, man. I confess. I don’t want to live life anymore without confessing,” he told police, according to the AP.
Police reportedly found Peralta earlier in May in front of a convenience store smoking a cigarette.
Authorities only found Peralta because he had borrowed a cell phone and called 911 to turn himself in.
The case had actually gone cold years prior after investigators had “exhausted all leads.”
Those leads were apparently not exhausted quite nearly enough, because Peralta had been a suspect from the onset of Blodgett going missing.
Blodgett’s girlfriend had told police at the time that Peralta and Blodgett had allegedly gotten into some sort of heated argument before the landlord went missing.
Peralta apparently let that guilt fester and gnaw away at him for 15 years before turning himself in.
Newsweek reported that Peralta told official he confessed, at least in part, because of his family, telling them, “They don’t… you know, nothing happens to them. It was my fault for my sin, you know?”
KRQE reported that a detective told the suspect he was helping Blodgett’s family, too.
“Tell them that he was a good man, and I shouldn’t have done what I did,” Peralta said. “He was always good to me, and I took his life for no reason, and I don’t have an excuse.”
Despite the sudden change of heart, it almost didn’t work, as authorities were initially skeptical that this random phone call in May was the key to solving a 15-year-old unsolved murder.
Authorities were worried that Peralta was “leading them on a goose chase,” the AP reported.
Despite those doubts, a persistent Peralta told officers, “There’s a dead body in there, dude!” when they drove past the house where he said he had buried Blodgett.
With at least a place and a claim to look into, police eventually obtained a search warrant.
Under the floorboards of the house, authorities found bones, a boot, and a denture.
Those dentures were eventually compared to dental records to confirm Blodgett’s identity.
And while Peralta appears repentant (insomuch as a “not-guilty” plea can appear repentant) enough, he still has not been able to provide a reason for why he allegedly killed Blodgett.
“I don’t have an excuse,” he told police. “A lot of people have an excuse. I don’t have one.”
Peralta said he was high on methamphetamine at the time of the alleged murder and also admitted to heavy drinking the day he made the call to police.
Peralta has a tentative October trial date set.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.