The murder of an American businessman has just raised safety concerns along the US / Mexican border.
Reporter: Steve Nunez
Web Producer: Brian Pryor, Layla Tang
STEINS, N.M. (KGUN9-TV) - The family of a man shot and killed in a New Mexico ghost town Tuesday is outraged by reports identifying their father as a rancher. New Mexico State Police told KGUN9 News there are no suspects in the murder of Larry Link. His family found the 68-year-old not far from their home in Steins, New Mexico.Media reports immediately began to surface that made parallels with the murder of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, who was shot to death on his Douglas ranch in March 2010. Although no suspects were ever named, many people in the area believed the murder was committed by an illegal immigrant. The reports said Link was a rancher and suggested he may have also been killed by an illegal immigrant.Several family members told KGUN 9 On Your Side that they do not want Link's murder to be used for political gain when it comes to illegal immigration. Instead, they want to the world to remember link as a fun-loving family man, who owned Stein's Ghost Town so he could share it with the rest of the world."The whole world knew him as Uncle Larry, that's how he introduced himself," said Link's daughter, Pamela. "He never had an enemy. And he loved my Mom."Link was a businessman. He bought Stein's Ghost Town in 1988. At one time, the ghost town attracted 90,000 thousand visitors a year from all over the world. It's cuddled next to Interstate 10, just across the Arizona state line. He moved his family there because he envisioned it in his dreams."If you were in Grandpa's presence, within five minutes you were no longer a stranger. You were kin of the family," said Link's granddaughter.
Vandalism and theft forced Link to close the ghost town three years ago, something that Pamela Link said broke her dad's heart. Now with their hearts broken, his family wants the truth to be told to protect the legacy of the man they loved so much.A tearful Pamela Link said, "I just know [that] he's not with us anymore. He wasn't a rancher. He was a businessman. He was a father, a husband, a grandfather."The New Mexico State Police would only tell KGUN9 News there are no suspects in Link's murder. A spokesperson declined to release any other information because the investigation is ongoing. The Hidalgo County Sheriff also declined to comment.