Man calls police to confess 15 years after killing landlord

A man in Roswell, New Mexico, has confessed to murdering his landlord in 2008 after saying he was racked with guilt, according to police.

Roswell Police Department issued a press release about the confession of 37-year-old Tony Ray Peralta in early May, and have since released bodycam footage of police interactions with the suspected murderer.

In this frame grab from body camera video provided by the Roswell Police Department, Tony Peralta leans against a police vehicle after turning himself in to authorities, in Roswell, N.M., May 1, 2023. Peralta called 911 to confess to the 2008 killing of his former landlord. (Roswell Police Department via AP)

Sweating and taking puffs from his cigarette, he told them he’s tired of covering it up, tired of living with the lie and tired of being overwhelmed by guilt. He agreed to take the officers to where he buried the body before standing up and volunteering to be cuffed.

“I confess, man. I confess. I don’t want to live life anymore without confessing,” he said while sitting in an interview room at police headquarters.

The uniformed officers and detectives who talked with Peralta peppered him with questions about when the killing happened, how he did it and why. Peralta kept answering that he didn’t know or didn’t remember, acknowledging that he had been drinking “a lot” the day he called 911.

Peralta, 37, was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of first-degree murder but did not attend the hearing. He pleaded not guilty to the charge through his public defender, Ray Conley, who declined to comment after the hearing. Conley has said he will ensure Peralta’s due process is respected as the case moves through court.

Peralta told police he decided to come forward because “his heart hurts” and that he thought about it every day. He told an officer that Blodgett was a good man and that he took his life for no reason while high on methamphetamine.

“I don’t have an excuse,” he told police. “A lot of people have an excuse. I don’t have one.”

Blodgett’s girlfriend and family had not seen him since late December 2008. She told police that Peralta, who was considered a suspect by police early on, allegedly had some sort or argument or fight with Blodgett, who had tried to evict him.

Authorities at the time had talked to Blodgett’s family, friends and neighbors and visited the home the two men shared, which appeared to have been abandoned with personal belongings still in place. Police found no immediate signs of foul play and Blodgett’s vehicle was still there, according to the original missing person report.

Online court records show since 2009, Roswell Police arrested Peralta four different times for non-violent crimes. He is now charged with first-degree murder for killing William Blodgett. The dentures police dug up in Blodgett’s home were used to confirm his identity.

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