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Leotta Talbert

The body of a Roswell woman missing since early December has been found near Hagerman.

Leotta Talbert, 80, was reported missing Dec. 3, 2017, after leaving Eastern New Mexico Medical Center in Roswell prior to being discharged. Surveillance video showed Talbert departing ENMMC in a white 2011 Ford Fiesta.

On Thursday, a New Mexico Department of Game and Fish pilot conducting a bird survey southeast of Hagerman spotted a car parked near the Pecos River. Game and Fish ground units in the area responded to the location and were able to confirm the vehicle belonged to Talbert.

The New Mexico State Police and Chaves County Sheriff’s Office were contacted and initiated a ground search for Talbert. The search resumed this morning, with assistance from the Hagerman Police Department, Atoka Fire and Rescue, and U.S. Border Patrol, and at approximately 12:30 p.m., Talbert’s body was located near the area in which her vehicle was found.

The body has been turned over to the Office of the Medical Investigator for autopsy.

A Silver Alert had been issued for Talbert the day she departed ENMMC, and the RPD and NMSP had been engaged in air and ground searches in the Roswell area since Dec. 6. The area between Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge and Bottomless Lakes State Park had been searched with no success, as well as the area between Bottomless Lakes and Dexter.