Thomas Wayne Ferguson, the New Mexico man accused of killing 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia in Nambé in November, was found dead while in custody, the district attorney said Saturday.

Ferguson, 42, who was accused of murdering his girlfriend’s son, died early Saturday morning of an apparent suicide while in the Santa Fe County jail, the state Attorney General’s Office said.

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First Judicial District Attorney Marco Serna also announced Ferguson’s death in an email statement Saturday morning, saying it appears he committed suicide.

“I can confirm that defendant Thomas Ferguson was found deceased in custody this morning of an apparent suicide,” Serna’s statement said. The information is preliminary at this time and an investigation has been initiated.” source

Ferguson was facing 18 charges, including a felony charge of first-degree murder, in relation to the death of Jeremiah Valencia, the 13-year-old son of his girlfriend, Tracy Peña. Peña and Ferguson’s 20-year-old son, Jordan Nuñez, also face charges in the boy’s death.

A news conference is scheduled later today.

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