Monday, July 11, 2011

Murder or mishap? The death of J. Placido Romero

Almost immediately after my book on Peralta and Los Pinos went to the publisher, I was given a different version of one of the most controversial incidents in the book — the disappearance of J. Placido Romero, a wealthy rancher of Peralta, on May 12, 1893. The disappearance of Romero into the Rio Grande between Los Lunas and Peralta is one of those strange events that remains a mystery, one that haunts people even today, although it happened more than 100 years ago. The Romero family's stories that have now come to my attention make this mystery even more complex and puzzling. A week before the death of J. Placido Romero, his son had been acquitted of the murder of a young woman who had previously rejected the son's proposal of marriage. Also, in the weeks prior, two other women in the Peralta and Los Lunas areas had been murdered. One night, the accused men were taken from the jail by unknown vigilantes and hanged. All or none of these events may be related to Romero's disappearance, but these events had caused a general feeling of uneasiness in much of Valencia County that sets the backdrop for the mystery surrounding Romero's death. A week after the vigilante hangings, J. Placido Romero disappeared into the river between Peralta and Los Lunas. Although an Albuquerque newspaper covered the incident in detail at the time, the Romeros over the years have passed down a significantly different version of what happened that fateful night...more

1 comment:

Joseph H. Sanchez said...

My name is Joseph Herman Sanchez. My great grandmother was Rosela Romero who was J. Placido Romero's youngest daughter who married Ubaldo Sanchez and they had a son named Justino Sanchez who was my grandfather. Rosela died in childbirth. The baby survived and was named Rose. My grandfather's family left Valencia in the early 1930's and came to Los Angeles where I grew up. I also seem to have had a aunt that was Ubaldo's sister named Anita that married Jose Placido Romero Jr. and they moved to San Bernadino Ca. in the 1920's. My great great grandfather was Jesus H. Sanchez of Valencia and was a contemporary of J. Placido Romero. Would my lost family contact me at Thank You, I now live in Colorado!! and would like to meet my large family in New Mexico.