Real Name: Kaitlyn Clare Arquette
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Date: July 16, 1989
Case[edit | edit source]
Details: Eighteen-year-old Kaitlyn Arquette was the daughter of acclaimed mystery writer Lois Duncan. She graduated from high school on June 14, 1989, and had been accepted to the University of New Mexico. She planned to attend medical school one day. Shortly after graduation, she moved into an apartment with her boyfriend. They paid for it with the help of money that they had received from an insurance settlement. He was eight years older than her, but she had told her parents that he was only four years older. However, they felt that he was a nice person.
Six weeks later, on the afternoon of July 16, Kaitlyn told Lois that she and her boyfriend had been having problems ever since they moved in together. She planned on breaking up with him and wanted Lois to lie about her whereabouts. She visited a friend from 9:30 to 10:45pm. She then headed east on Lomas Road, towards Lois' house. When she reached an intersection, another car pulled up next to her and shot her. Her car then drifted and crashed into a light pole.
Shortly before midnight, Lois learned that Kaitlyn was in the emergency room. After reaching the hospital, her parents learned that she had been shot. Five hours later, the police arrived at her apartment. Her boyfriend was home alone, apparently unaware of the shooting. He told them that he had been out with friends, doing various activities. On a table, an investigator found a note that Kaitlyn had written to him, telling him that he would be home at a certain time.
Kaitlyn's boyfriend told investigators that he argued with her, but was unaware that she may have wanted him to leave. Later, he joined her parents at the hospital. Tragically, she passed away from her injuries twenty-four hours later. Six months after her murder, investigators announced that she had been the victim of a "random act of violence". However, Lois does not believe this; through her own investigation, she believes that she has found evidence that Kaitlyn had known her killer.
Lois believes that Kaitlyn was killed by a hired assassin because she knew too much about her boyfriend's criminal activities, which included staging accidents. She discovered that three phone calls had been made from Kaitlyn's apartment at the time she died. They were to a paralegal that had set up the accidents. A private investigator found evidence that she was afraid of her boyfriend's friends. He also found evidence that the note found in her apartment had been forged.
Six months after Kaitlyn's murder, an informant led the Albuquerque police to a man named Robert Garcia. He identified three men as being involved in her murder. He claimed that he was in the car with them when they shot her. They were arrested and were charged with her murder. However, the charges were later dropped after it was discovered that Robert was in jail at the time.
After this lead did not pan out, investigators requestioned Kaitlyn's boyfriend. He admitted to being involved in an insurance scam. However, police do not consider him a suspect in her murder. Her family is convinced that her murder was not a random act of violence. They are certain that she was silenced because of her knowledge of the insurance scam and other illegal activities.
Suspects: Lois believes that Kaitlyn was killed by members of a Vietnamese gang that her boyfriend was involved with. Two months before her murder, she and her boyfriend took a trip to Southern California. During this time, she apparently became involved in a lucrative car insurance scam. Her sister learned that her boyfriend had staged an accident a few months earlier. He had used a car that Kaitlyn had rented with Lois' credit card.
The accident was allegedly orchestrated by an organization comprised of powerful members of Southern California's Vietnamese community. Everyone involved in it complained of soft tissue injuries that were later treated by a doctor who was also involved in the organization. A paralegal working out of an Orange County law office handled the insurance claim. Kaitlyn and her boyfriend were given $1500 for their part. They used the money for their apartment. Lois believes that, since she was breaking up with her boyfriend, the other gang members feared that she would go to the police. She believes that they had her silenced.
A few weeks after the murder, Lois discovered that three phone calls had been made from Kaitlyn's apartment had virtually the same time she died. At the time, her boyfriend was with them. The calls were made to a Vietnamese paralegal that worked in Orange County. This was the same one that had set up the accidents.
A private investigator hired by Lois spoke to Kaitlyn's landlord. He believed that she was afraid of her boyfriend's friends who were apparently involved in the criminal activities. They only spoke Vietnamese around her and often made fun of her. They were often a center of the couple's arguments.
The investigator also compared the note allegedly left by Kaitlyn on the night of her murder to known samples of her handwriting. He did not believe that it was written by her. The landlord also claimed that three of her boyfriend's friends were in their apartment on the night of July 17, around the time that she died.
However, the Albuquerque police did not believe that the Vietnamese gang and Kaitlyn's boyfriend were involved in her murder. They believe that her murder was a random act of violence. An informant led police to Robert Garcia. He was interrogated for two hours before telling investigators that he had been in a car with three friends on the night of Kaitlyn's murder. He claimed that one of them shot a woman in her car on a dare.
Based on his testimony, police arrested Dennis Martinez, Juvenal Escobedo, and Miguel Garcia, who is not related to Robert. According to Robert, Miguel was the trigger-man. Police discovered that Juvenal had recently sold his car, a brown Chevrolet Camaro. They connected it to an eyewitness, who claimed that he had seen one chasing a young woman in her car on the night of Kaitlyn's murder. This occurred an hour before it.
However, the case fell apart when it was discovered that Robert had been in jail on the night of Kaitlyn's murder. Ultimately, charges against all three suspects were dropped due to lack of evidence.
As the result of pressure from Kaitlyn's family, investigators decided to re-interview her boyfriend. This time, he did admit to being involved in an auto insurance scam. However, neither he nor his friends were ever charged in relation to the scam. Also, police do not consider him a suspect in Kaitlyn's murder.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the January 27, 1993 episode. Lois wrote a book about it, titled Who Killed My Daughter?.
Results: Unsolved. Lois's private investigator later discovered that a man named Paul Apodaca was found standing next to Kaitlyn's car when police arrived at the scene. His information was taken down, but he was allowed to leave. He was also never interviewed by police about the case. Lois was shocked to learn that he had an extensive criminal history, with multiple convictions for attacking women. A few years after Kaitlyn's murder, he was convicted of raping a young relative. It is not known if he was involved or had any connection to her death.
The private investigator also discovered that Kaitlyn's car had been hit by at least one vehicle before it crashed into the light pole, as evidenced by the damage to the left rear bumper and side panel. It is not known why the police investigators did not release this information. Lois suspects that the police department was involved in a cover-up involving the case.
In 2003, a cold case squad investigating the case determined that she had been shot after her car collided with the light pole. This was based on the accuracy of the shots, which suggested that they were fired at a close range and a non-moving target.
Sadly, Lois passed away on June 15, 2016. There has been no further progress in the investigation of Kaitlyn's murder.
- Kaitlyn Arquette on Unsolved.com
- Kaitlyn Arquette Website
- Lois Duncan Page about Kaitlyn Facebook
- Teen-age Driver Dies After Random Shooting
- DA Drops Charges in Arquette Shooting
- 'Who Killed My Daughter?' (People Magazine Article)
- Mom Writes On About Daughter's Slaying
- Mom Seeks Closure in '89 Slaying
- Acclaimed Author Renews Fight for Answers to Daughter's 1989 Albuquerque Murder
- Who Killed Lois Duncan's Daughter?
- Writer reveals twisted tale of police cover-ups and organized crime she claims is behind her daughter's murder
- Writer never gave up on justice for daughter
- Lois Duncan and the answer she never found
- Sitcoms Online Discussion of Kaitlyn Arquette
- Kaitlyn Arquette on Find a Grave