February fire in Dulce investigated; police suspect murder/suicide in Farmington teen's death

Olivia Harlow
The Santa Fe New Mexican

SANTA FE — The state Fire Marshal's Office is investigating a structure fire at a Dulce residence where police suspect a murder-suicide may have occurred earlier this year.

A man and woman were found dead in the home in February.

The Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Office initially said in court records the deaths of Daniel Tiznado, 22, of Dulce, and Tanisha Bonnie, 18, of Farmington, didn't appear suspicious.

But a search warrant affidavit filed earlier this month in connection with the investigation of the fire says Rio Arriba County Sheriff Sgt. Robert Vigil told an investigator with the Fire Marshal's Office that a murder-suicide occurred within the residence.

According to the affidavit, Thomas Henry, an arson investigator with the Fire Marshal's Office, was alerted on June 2 to a structure fire at the home on Stone Lake Road in Dulce, a small town of about 2,700 people in far Northern New Mexico. The investigator was told by Dulce police that it appeared furniture had been stacked in two separate rooms that were set on fire.

Henry wrote in the affidavit that based on the information he received, he believes the fire was "intentionally set."

On June 4, First Judicial District Judge Jason Lidyard issued the search warrant for the property, allowing for a complete inspection and scene examination. Upon conducting the search, Henry reported that a towel, lighter and three items of fire debris were found.

The home was the backdrop of a grisly scene when investigators found the bodies of Tiznado and Bonnie. Tiznado had been shot in the head, according to court documents, and the woman's remains were so disfigured that medical investigators struggled to determine how she died. Dogs in the home may have been feeding on the woman's body, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Still, family members raised questions about the case, and an affidavit made public in March stated investigators would conduct a search warrant of Tiznado's cellphone for any additional information.

While searching the property in February, sheriff's investigators found a discolored "projectile," a broken pool stick and black fabric, all with blood on them, according to court documents.

Rio Arriba County Sheriff's spokesman Maj. Randy Sanches could not be immediately reached for comment Monday evening.