Family identifies man in Shiprock homicide

While the FBI has not identified the victim in Friday's homicide, family members say the man was 66-year-old Jonathan Joe

Steve Garrison
Charley P. Joe and his grandson, Alex Joe, mourn the loss of Jonathan Joe during a meeting Monday at the Shiprock Chapter house.

FARMINGTON — Family members held a meeting tonight at the Shiprock Chapter house to discuss funeral arrangements for the man found dead in an apparent homicide Friday at his residence near Mesa Farm Road in Shiprock.

The FBI, which is investigating the man's death as a homicide, has not identified the victim, but family members said the man was 66-year-old Jonathan Joe, a long-time resident on Fifth Lane near Mesa Farm Road.

Neighbors and family remembered Joe as a quiet, good man, who farmed and ranched despite a medical condition he suffered at birth that left him paralyzed in one arm.

A photograph of Jonathan Joe is passed around on Monday during a meeting at the Shiprock Chapter house.

Lucinda Begay, a neighbor of Joe, said the man was quiet, but kind. He planted a crop of corn about two years ago at his Fifth Lane residence, and she said he was often hard at work in the field.

The late man's brother, Charley P. Joe, said this evening that an aunt found Jonathan Joe, who was unmarried and had no children, dead Friday morning at his residence.

Joe's sister, Lula Jackson, said the family had to replace the home's floorboards, which were stained by her brother's blood.

She said it was heinous that someone would murder a disabled, old man in his own home.

"Murder is murder," she said, in tears. "I don't know how someone could do this."

Lula Jackson discusses funeral plans for her brother, Jonathan Joe, during a meeting on Monday at the Shiprock Chapter house.

FBI and tribal investigators were notified Friday morning that an adult man was found dead at a residence near Mesa Farm Road.

FBI spokesman Frank Fisher declined today to identify the man.

He said no arrests have been made in connection to the death, which remains under investigation.

Luke Begay donates money to the Joe family on Monday at the Shiprock Chapter house.

Meanwhile, family and neighbors prepared tonight for Joe's funeral, which will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, No. 10 Road 6523 in Kirtland.

Friends donated the clothes Joe will be buried in, but the family needs financial assistance with the funeral expenses, which include the cost of the casket and flowers.

Charley P. Joe said tonight anyone who wishes to donate can contact him at 505-406-2525.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644.