Judge and her pets shot dead in murder-suicide hours after troubling message

A high-profile municipal judge and her pets were shot dead in an apparent murder-suicide after a friend of the couple had received a "troubling message".

Just hours before the discovery of the bodies of Diane Albert, 65, and Eric Pinkerton, 63, a friend of the family had received a worrying text from Pinkerton, and subsequently informed police officers.

Judge Albert and Pinkerton were found in their home alongside several dogs and a cat, with two Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office members discovering the pair while on a welfare check.

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Jayme Fuller, a spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office, believe the New Mexico, United States-based couple were killed as part of Pinkerton's alleged murder-suicide.

They allege that Pinkerton shot the animals and his wife before he took his own life, with the law enforcement agency confirming a concerning message had been sent before their deaths.

Their statement read that just before 4pm a "troubling message" had been sent to a friend of the family.

Said statement continued: "A friend of the decedents contacted deputies after receiving a troubling message from Eric Pinkerton."

The unnamed family friend claimed that Pinkerton had stated he had shot his wife and dogs and was going to kill himself.

A dispatch message heard at the time said: "He left a voice-mail to his friend stating that he murdered his wife and his dogs and his cat. And he is about to murder himself."

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Albert, a municipal judge for the Village of Los Ranchos and a former planning and zoning commissioner, had served as the president of the Bike Coalition of New Mexico.

Brian S. Colon, who took to Facebook to remember Albert, wrote that the 65-year-old had been a "kindhearted soul who always uplifted me and others".

The Los Ranchos Administrator, Ann Simon, added: "We are heartsick hearing the news of this senseless tragedy. Diane Albert, our elected municipal judge, was a longtime Los Ranchos resident, a brilliant mind, and a friend.

"We can't ignore that this happened on the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women."

Law enforcement are continuing their investigation into the apparent murder-suicide, Daily Mail reported.

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