Benjamin Youngbear, who was murdered at Ohkay Owingeh in May 2015, is seen in a photo on social media.

Two charged for murder of man at Ohkay Owingeh in New Mexico

Two non-Indian men have been charged with homicide for the death of an Indian man at Ohkay Owingeh in northern New Mexico.

Benjamin Youngbear, 28, went missing on the reservation on May 25. Authorities at the time described his disappearance as suspicious.

With the help of witnesses, authorities found Youngbear's body in a shallow grave at a home on the reservation last Tuesday. He had been shot to death.

Jack R. Patterson, Jr., 66, killed Youngbear, federal prosecutors alleged in an indictment. Antonio Valdez, 24, aided and abetted the crime by helping Patterson bury the body, a second indictment stated.

A third person, who is Valdez's father, is also described as a suspect, according to the documents. Joey Valdez allegedly knew Youngbear was killed and that his son was allegedly involved.

Youngbear was a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana. He spent his early years in the state until his mother died in 1994.

Youngbear and his two siblings were then sent to Ohkay Owingeh to live with their maternal grandmother. Their mother, who died from food poisoning, was from the Pueblo.

The children's father died of walking pneumonia in 1999, when the siblings were already living in New Mexico. Youngbear was 12 at the time.

Youngbear later pleaded guilty of battery in connection with an an incident involving one of his sisters. That sibling, Yvette Youngbear, died on March 5, according to her obituary.

The third sibling, Nicole Edmonds, just died last week as authorities were discovering her brother's body. She was killed in a hit and run accident on the reservation.

A second person was seriously injured and the alleged driver has been located.

Get the Story:
Feds charge Chamita man with murder after body found (AP 7/13)
2 charged with killing Ohkay Owingeh man (The Albuquerque Journal 7/11)
Feds arrest Chamita man after body is unearthed at his home (The Santa Fe New Mexican 7/11)
Forensic Team Swarms Chamita (The Rio Grande Sun 7/9)

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BIA seeks help locating Pueblo man who went missing on May 25 (6/3)

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