ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Police have reopened the unsolved case of an Albuquerque woman missing for 16 years after authorities received new information connected to a man who boasted in writings that he was responsible for around 40 victims.
Albuquerque police are set to join FBI agents and New Mexico State Police on Tuesday in a search around Elephant Butte Reservoir and nearby caves where they believe David Parker Ray may have buried some of his claimed victims.
Police suspect that 22-year-old Jill Troia, who disappeared in 1995, is among the possible victims buried somewhere in vast terrain of the reservoir in southern New Mexico.
Ray wrote detailed accounts of sexual tortures and burials of victims, including one he described as an Asian woman — a description that fits Troia. But authorities have said it's unclear if his writings were fantasies or actual crimes he committed.
Ray was arrested in 1999 after a naked woman wearing only a dog collar and chain fled his home. She told police she has been tortured by Ray, and investigators later found surgical tools and video cameras inside his 20-foot-long white trailer that he dubbed a "toy box."
He was initially charged with 37 counts involving three women — the woman who fled naked, a Colorado woman who was tortured in 1996 and another woman.
In 2001, Ray was convicted of kidnapping and torturing the Colorado woman, and he pleaded guilty to kidnapping and rape charges in the case of the woman who fled naked. The third case was dismissed as part of a plea bargain.
He died in prison in 2002. No bodies have ever been located after a number of searches in the area around the reservoir.
Troia, an Asian-American woman who was adopted, came to Albuquerque when she was in the U.S. Air Force and was last seen in October 1995 at Albuquerque's Frontier Restaurant with Ray's daughter, Glenda Jean Ray.
She was reported missing after Albuquerque police said her mother wrote to police from her home in Michigan. Albuquerque police said Troia had dated Glenda Ray, who also goes by the name of Jesse or Sissy Ray.
Albuquerque police have long believed Ray and his daughter were connected to Troia's disappearance, which remains Albuquerque Police Department's only known cold case related to David Parker Ray.
Neither was ever charged in connection with Troia's disappearance.
Glenda Jean Ray pleaded no contest to kidnapping charges in 2001 and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison, plus five years of probation in connection to her father's sex torture case.
Ray's girlfriend, at the time of his arrest, Cynthia Lea Hendy, told police that Ray disposed of bodies — both men and women in ravines and in Elephant Butte Reservoir. She was sentenced in 2000 to 36 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to accessory and kidnapping charges, and agreed to cooperate with investigators to avoid a life prison term.
Authorities didn't release any other names of possible victims. However, FBI spokesman Frank Fisher said authorities are reinvestigating cases of missing women from the time period to see if they are connected.
A new DNA missing persons' database could help identify remains, if any are discovered, he said.
Authorities are hoping that previously unknown victims who survived Ray's torture come forward and provide new information, Fisher said.
Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras
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