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White Sands Missile Range employee accused of killing woman

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A White Sands Missile Range employee has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a transgender woman at her Albuquerque home in 2021, according to authorities.

Albuquerque police said 39-year-old Sadou Maiga turned himself in to authorities Thursday after an arrest warrant was issued for him on April 12.

They said Maiga remains jailed on suspicion of an open count of murder and tampering with evidence in the death of Nicholas Turrietta, who went by the name Nikki and identified as a woman.

It wasn't immediately clear if Maiga had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.

According to court records, Maiga is employed as an IT specialist at the missile range and was previously a security guard there.

The Albuquerque Journal reported that police were called to Turrieta's home and found she had been shot once in the back of the head.

Police said a .40 caliber bullet casing was discovered near Turrieta's body and her phone was missing.

Detectives later learned the phone had been taken to Socorro and eventually left in a rural area near Los Lunas, according to authorities.

According to the Journal, police learned Maiga allegedly called Turrietta three times the morning of Dec. 29, 2021, and it's believed she was killed sometime in the next several hours.