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RBC I A murder that took place in Rio Blanco County more than 10 years ago still remains open.
The 1997 case resulted in two men going to prison for the murder of Kenneth Todd Skidmore, 35, a former Meeker resident, but a third man is still on the loose.
Esgar Ignacio Arceo Valencia, who was 17 at the time, is believed to be hiding in Mexico.
“We have an arrest warrant for him,” said Sgt. Roy Kinney, an investigator with the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office. “We’ve heard he’s in Mexico. There’s actually a program where the attorney general’s office works with out-of-country governments that has been proposed as a way of finding him.”
Skidmore was murdered in March 1997, outside of Rangely on Highway 64.
“He was actually a Utah resident at the time of the murder,” Kinney said.
As far as the chances of finding Valencia, Kinney said, “It’s been so long … who knows? There’s no statute of limitations on murder, so that one will stay on the books until he’s dead or prosecuted.”
In 1998, two other men involved in the case received prison sentences.
“The last I heard … they were still in prison,” Kinney said.
Gerardo Cardenas “Lalo” Perez, who was 28 at the time, was sentenced to 24 years in prison. In a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. According to reports, Perez was not present when Skidmore was shot and killed in rural Rio Blanco County.
Francisco “Pancho” Rojas Dominguez, 34 at the time, was sentenced to 36 years in prison for second-degree murder. An eyewitness testified to seeing Dominguez shoot Skidmore near Rangely following an altercation over “bad dope.” Dominguez accused Skidmore of allegedly selling tainted drugs to youth in Vernal, Utah. When the youth became sick, the heightened police attention reportedly cut into drug sales. Dominguez allegedly was a drug supplier in Vernal.
The third suspect in the murder case is Perez’ cousin.