Teen Charged With Murder After Snapchat Ransom Plot Turned Fatal

Anna Bella Dukes, 18

Photo: Albuquerque Police Department

A New Mexico teen was arrested and charged with murder after a kidnapping and ransom plot ended in the fatal shooting of a former corrections officer. Authorities said that Anna Bella Dukes, 18, used Snapchat to connect with Nicholas Otero and lure him to a park in Albuquerque last February.

When Otero arrived to meet with Dukes, he was ambushed by three armed men who robbed him and kidnapped him. The men then took Otero to the home of his brother, Elias, and demanded cash. They threatened to kill Nicholas unless Elias paid the ransom.

Elias refused and threatened to shoot the kidnappers. The confrontation turned deadly when Dukes' boyfriend, 17-year-old Adrian Avila, opened fire, killing Elias.

Officials said that Dukes and Avila used similar tactics during a previous carjacking.

Authorities charged Dukes and Avila with murder, kidnapping, two counts of armed robbery, tampering with evidence, and conspiracy. Avila turned himself in last year, while Dukes was taken into custody on Monday (January 24).

"Every day we wish that we get justice and, you know, someone to pay for what they did to him and knowing they finally turned themselves in just - it feels good that it's not gonna go unsolved," Otero's mother, Alicia Otero told KOB.

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