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Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 6:27pm
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Dona Ana County Sheriff's investigators are searching for a key witness in the deadly New Year's home invasion in Dona Ana.
The department is attempting to locate Victor Orquiz, 19, who was questioned at the scene but was released and now appears to be eluding authorities, according to the sherrif's department.
In a release, the department said Orquiz was believed to be the driver of a white car parked in the driveway of the home, and has been identified as the brother of the apparent target of the attack, Joseph Torrez, who lived there at the time.
Torrez is believed to have fought back when four men allegedly forced their way into his home to settle a previous argument.
Investigators said one of the alleged intruders, Sal Garces, 25, was found dead with multiple stab wounds and head injuries about two homes from where the initial fight first took place.
According to court records, one of the suspects Natahan Avalos, 19, allegedly hit Torrez while the MMA fighter was attempting to defend himself against Sal Garces.
The records said Avalos told Torrez, "I'm coming back. I'm going to blast you."
Avalos was arrested days later after being treated in the hospital for injuries and court records show Avalos told investigators he was kicked in the face by Torrez.
Torrez told investigators in the documents he did kick Avalos in the face while the two fought on Torrez's driveway as Avalos was trying to run.