Ghost town owner murdered near Arizona/New Mexico border
The family of a man shot and killed in a New Mexico ghost town Tuesday is outraged by reports identifying their father as a rancher. New Mexico State Police told KGUN9 News there are no suspects in the murder of Larry Link. His family found the 68-year-old not far from their home in Steins, New Mexico.
Media reports immediately began to surface that made parallels with the murder of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, who was shot to death on his Douglas ranch in March 2010. Although no suspects were ever named, many people in the area believed the murder was committed by an illegal immigrant. The reports said Link was a rancher and suggested he may have also been killed by an illegal immigrant.
Several family members told KGUN 9 On Your Side that they do not want Link’s murder to be used for political gain when it comes to illegal immigration. Instead, they want to the world to remember link as a fun-loving family man, who owned Stein’s Ghost Town so he could share it with the rest of the world.
A tearful Pamela Link said, “I just know [that] he’s not with us anymore. He wasn’t a rancher. He was a businessman. He was a father, a husband, a grandfather.”
The New Mexico State Police would only tell KGUN9 News there are no suspects in Link’s murder. A spokesperson declined to release any other information because the investigation is ongoing. The Hidalgo County Sheriff also declined to comment.
Link bought Steins Ghost town in 1988 and it became a popular tourist attraction.
When this story broke, I noticed that sources close to Steins said Link owned a ghost town, but Fox News used the headline, “Another American Rancher Killed on the Border”, which was picked up by many blogs. I got a screenshot, not that I know what to do with it. I knew the “rancher” title would not hold up, but I didn’t guess that the family would be “outraged” by it.
In the video at the link, they mispronounce the name of the place. It’s pronounced “Steens” by the locals. Wikipedia says it was founded by a Mr. Steens, whose name was later misspelled.
Possibly the weirdest aspect of this story, however, is in the comments. A man posts that he is the one who sold the ghost town to Mr. Link, and he has some unresolved feelings about it. He includes the sentence, “I guess I didn’t realize until just yesterday how much I really hated this man and it’s evident I need to work on this problem. ” Another commenter asks where he was at the time of the murder.