A teenage boy was raped, burned, then beaten to death before being buried in a shallow grave.
The body of Jeremiah Valencia was found buried on a roadside in January and his mother’s boyfriend, Thomas Ferguson, has been charged with his murder.
Jeremiah’s mother, Tracy Ann Peña, 35, her boyfriend, Thomas Wayne Ferguson, 42, and Ferguson’s 19-year-old son, Jordan Nuñez, all face charges in connection with Jeremiah’s death. Jordan Nuñez and Tracy Ann Peña are charged with child abuse resulting in death, tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit evidence tampering.
Tracy Ann, Jordan, and Jeremiah’s 13-year-old sister have accused Ferguson of repeatedly torturing Jeremiah and beating him to death in late November. Horrific new details have come to light suggesting that Jeremiah was forced to live in a plastic dog kennel. Ferguson allegedly kept Jeremiah in the kennel as punishment and made him sleep there and wear adult diapers. An autopsy found the teenager was buried in a diaper and that he had suffered cuts and wounds on his body consistent with sexual assault.
Jeremiah’s body was discovered after an inmate at the Santa Fe County jail, New Mexic, US, told them that Tracy Ann had confessed to her about her son’s death. Tracy Ann told investigators she was forced to help Ferguson move the boy’s remains and claimed she kept quiet because she was afraid of him.
Ferguson was indicted last week by a grand jury on first-degree murder and 17 other felony charges, including kidnapping, child abuse and tampering with evidence.