Arrest made after kidnapped woman was stripped, injected with heroin, pushed off bridge

New Mexico State Police continue to investigate the case

Arrest made after kidnapped woman was stripped, injected with heroin, pushed off bridge
Agents identified Brenton Rael (44) of Petaca, NM as the suspect who kidnapped the female. (Source: New Mexico State Police)

RIO ARRIBA COUNTY, New Mexico (KCBD) - An arrest has been made after a New Mexico woman was beaten, stripped of her clothing, blindfolded, injected with heroin and pushed off of a bridge.

The New Mexico State Police were called to investigate the kidnapping that happened in Espanola, NM on Feb. 29, 2020. They were called to a house around 2 a.m.

During the investigation, agents learned the female was kidnapped at gunpoint and forced into the front passenger seat of a vehicle.

Once inside the vehicle, the female victim was struck numerous times by a man now identified as Brenton Rael, 44, of Petaca, NM, according to a news release. The victim was also strangled by an unidentified female who was with Rael.

The report shows the female victim also had her eyes taped shut and covered by a bandanna. She was driven to a residence in El Duende where her clothing was removed, and she was saturated with Clorox bleach. The female victim was injected with heroin and driven to a bridge off US Highway 74, where she was pushed off the bridge into the river. The female victim floated down the river and was able to make it onto the riverbank. She walked to a nearby residence where she called law enforcement.

Agents were able to locate and obtain a search warrant for Rael’s residence. During a search of the residence, agents found evidence described by the kidnapped female. Agents found tape, Clorox, a red strap, a blue bandanna, human hair and a bag of clothing that belonged to the kidnapped victim inside the residence. Officers located a red bandanna near the bridge on US Highway 74.

On Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, a no-bond arrest warrant was issued for Brenton Rael from the Rio Arriba County Magistrate Court. Rael was arrested in Espanola on March 2, 2020 without incident. He was booked into the Rio Arriba County Detention Center in Tierra Amarilla, NM.

Rael was charged with first-degree felony kidnapping, third-degree aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, third-degree felony tampering with evidence, third-degree assault with intent to commit a felony with intent to kill and fourth-degree felony of conspiracy.

At this time, the unknown female suspect has not been identified.

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