Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Widow hopes for closure after news from Mexico

P. SOLOMON BANDA Updated: October 9, 2012 at 12:00 am

LA SALLE — A Colorado woman whose husband was killed while the two were using personal watercraft on Falcon Lake on the U.S.-Mexico border said that news Monday of the arrest of a potential suspect came as a surprise.

The Mexican navy said Monday it had nabbed suspected Zetas cartel leader Salvador Alfonso Martinez Escobedo, who is believed to have masterminded the massacre of 72 migrants in the northern state of Tamaulipas in 2010.

He also has been linked to the death of David Hartley, who grew up in Colorado but was shot in the head on Falcon Lake while he and his wife, Tiffany, were sightseeing on Sept. 30, 2010.

Tiffany Hartley, who now lives in La Salle, said it was the first news she had heard from the case in about 10 months.

When asked whether she had confidence that authorities had arrested the man responsible for killing her husband, she said, "It's really hard to really feel like this is going to be the final, but at the same time we're very hopeful that it will because we want some closure as a family."

She has said her husband was shot by pirates who approached the couple in speedboats and started firing, striking David Hartley, who fell from his watercraft into the lake. Hartley said she tried to retrieve her husband's body but had to flee as the pirates continued shooting.

On Monday, Hartley said she is hoping for more information on how Martinez might be linked to her husband's death and where her husband's remains are so her family can have closure and move forward.

Hartley said she doesn't believe Martinez pulled the trigger but may have given the go-ahead to the people who did. "But that's what we're really looking for is, what is his link to David and does he know where David's body is. Does he know where the remains are? Same questions we had two years ago. Where is David, and who had the involvement in all this," she said from outside her mother's house, where she lives in LaSalle.

Tiffany Hartley also is seeking the authorities' help in getting a death certificate for David Hartley.

She said she realizes Martinez is linked to many other deaths and that Mexican authorities' hands are full but is still hopeful details on David Hartley's death will emerge.

Hartley said she is coming to terms of living her life without her husband. As part of her effort to move forward, she said this summer she rode the personal watercraft her husband was on when he disappeared.

"It was something that we both liked to do. I had fun. I felt like I had conquered and I was victorious," Hartley said of the moment.

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