NM SANDRA PAYNE: Missing from Santa Fe, NM - 4 July 1996 - Age 33


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Sandra Payne was last seen leaving a barbecue in Santa Fe, New Mexico on July 4, 1996.

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Santa Fe woman’s disappearance puzzles police So far clues about July 4 disappearance have been dead ends -authorities say
By STEVE TERRELL: The Santa Fe New Mexican, 22 Aug 1996

There are clues leads even an arrest) but the mystery of Sandra Payne still confounds police seven weeks after she - left a Fourth of July celebration with a blue-eyed man ' - The man landed in jail on an unrelated charge Payne has not been seen again But though he was questioned - about Payne the man has not been charged with anything related to her disappearance and has been released Friends of Payne — a 33-year-old nanny and a graduate of Santa Fe High School — fear she is dead As frequently happens in missing-persons cases false rumors of her body being found swept through the city last week Police and sheriffs deputies have used dogs on at least one occasion to try to find her body in the La Cienega area “I just wish they would fifid her body so she can rest in peace” said one friend who asked not to be named ”1 doubt if she ever made it back from the party” - Payne went to the party — described by a friend as a “biker party — at the home of a couple who live near the Downs at Santa Fe Payne is not married and had no ' steady boyfriend at the time her friend said She lived alone Payne’s mother who lives in Santa Fe notified police after her daughter did ' not return to her home for more than two days Because city police first were noti- fied about the disappearance and “ because Payne’s residence is within the city limits city police took the investi- gation SgL Jack Dietz said The county sheriff’s office was notified and has helped in the investigation because Payne was last seen in the county CapL Ray Rael of the city police department said Wednesday that the case is still open although he said there have been no recent leads Rael said police received some information that Payne was alive and in Santa Fe But those reports could not be verified CapL Ron Madrid verified that investigators have a copy of a videotape made at the party and have examined it for possible leads ' According to Payne’s friend ’ three witnesses saw Payne leave the party with a 29-year-old man On July 12 Mary Banges — a detective with the sheriff’s department assigned to the Payne case — arrested the blueeyed man on two outstanding warrants — one for failing to comply with conditions of release and one for failing to appear in court - Madrid said the warrants might be related to an earlier drunken driving arrest A check of the man’s Motor Vehicles Division records shows several citations for drunken driving failing to appear in court and failure to pay fines The man was released from custody on Aug 8 Police did not refer to the man as a suspect “He’s just one of several people who have been ' questioned" Madrid said The man could not be reached for comment Wednesday Payne is described as being 5 feet 2 inches 127 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes She last was seen in blue jean shorts a black shirt and black boots ' Santa Fe Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1000 for information on the case If you have information about Payne’s disappearance call Crime Stoppers at 473-5050 or Detective Danny Valdez at 438-5163
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Missing woman’s family ups ante for information
By STEVE TERRELL: The Santa Fe New Mexican, 29 Jan 1997,

The New Mexican Relatives of Sandra Payne a Santa Fe woman who disappeared on July 4 announced Tuesday they are increasing the reward for information leading to the arrests of those responsible — bringing the reward total to $3000 Gloria Payne the missing woman’s mother said Tuesday she believes her daughter met with foul play "Seven months has passed since the disappearance of our beloved daughter and to date there has been no arrests" Gloria Payne said "Not a single day goes by without us missing and loving her and wondering why this tragedy occurred"

The Payne family is putting up $2000 for the reward Santa Fe Crimestoppers has a standing $1000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of a suspect or suspects Detective Danny Valdez who Is in charge of the investigation said Tuesday that despite the fact that several witnesses saw her leaving a July 4 party with a man — who later denied leaving with Sandra Payne — the case has run into nothing but dead ends The man — who police have not officially named as a suspect — has hired a lawyer and has refused to talk to investigators Valdez said On July 12 Detective Mary Ranges of the sheriffs department arrested the blue-eyed man on two unrelated outstanding warrants — one for failing to comply with conditions of release and one for falling to appear in court on a drunken driving charge This man was released from custody Aug 8 Valdez said the man’s wife ave police permission to search is truck However no evidence was uncovered Valdez said The man who allegedly left the party with Sandra Payne could not be reached for comment Tuesday Payne’s former boyfriend said Tuesday he was with Sandra Payne and the other man the night before the disappearance He said the three were at the Holiday Inn bar and the other man gave him phone numbers to call for a possible Job That was the first time he met the other man the ex-boyfriend said He said Payne called him on the night of her disappearance telling him that she planned to be with her parents that night The ex-boyfriend said that until about six months before the disappearance he had lived with Sandra Payne but the two had broken up because of a domestic dispute for which he was arrested 'They dropped the charges" he said "I showed up to court but (Payne) didn't" Payne is described as being 5 feet 2 inches 127 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes She was last seen in blue lean shorts a black shirt and black boots If you have Information concerning Payne's disappearance call Crimestoppers at 473 5050 or Detective Danny Valdez 438- 5163
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Clipped from The Santa Fe New Mexican Santa Fe, New Mexico 10 Mar 1998,



Sandra Payne
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Missing Since: 07/04/1996
Missing From: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Classification: Endangered Missing
Sex: Female
Race: White
Age: 33 years old
Height and Weight: 5'7, 127 pounds
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A black shirt with long lace sleeves, blue denim cutoff shorts, black socks, black boots and a silver bracelet on her right wrist.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes.

Details of Disappearance
Payne was last seen in Santa Fe, New Mexico on July 4, 1996. That day, she went to a barbeque near the Santa Fe Downs with a female friend. Witnesses saw her leave between 9:00 and 9:30 p.m. with Robert L. Bryant in his blue Mazda pickup truck.

Payne never picked up her car and has never been heard from again. When interviewed, Bryant said he left the barbeque alone and went to the Eagles Lodge. He said he also visited his sister's home and his girlfriend's home. However, investigation proved the lodge had been closed that night, but Bryant's sister and girlfriend said they never saw him.

Bryant has an extensive criminal record, including charges of cocaine trafficking and driving under the influence. A clinical psychologist described him as a manipulative and antisocial alcohol and drug addict with a potential for violence and a great deal of anger towards women.

He was later convicted of the 1998 rape and murder of a woman and sentenced to life in prison. Police found news clippings about Payne's disappearance in his briefcase in his vehicle when he was arrested. He has never been charged in Payne's case.

Another possible suspect in Payne's case is Anthony Klima. Payne bought and sold cocaine for Klima. She supposedly owed him between $2,000 and $3,000 at the time of her disappearance, and Klima had allegedly threatened to kill her. An informant told police that a man working for Klima killed Payne, transported her body in Klima's Ford Bronco and buried it in a field near Romeroville, New Mexico. Police searched the Bronco and found blood on the rear floor carpeting on the passenger's side. It has been submitted for analysis.

Payne's disappearance remains unsolved. It's uncharacteristic of her to be out of touch with her family or to leave without warning. She is a graduate of Santa Fe High School and was employed as a nanny at the time she went missing. Foul play is suspected in her case.


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Robert Byrant

Robert Bryant, a Tesuque man, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in 1999 of raping and murdering an Albuquerque woman, Reymunda Baca, who was the mother of a young child. He also was suspected in the disappearances of at least two other women, though he was never charged in those cases. He was being held in the Northeastern New Mexico Detention Facility near Clayton.


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Hungarian's Fate Unknown After ID Found
By S.U. Mahesh Journal Northern Bureau
18 Mar 1998,

SANTA FE State Police officials are asking for public help in locating a Hungarian woman whose passport was found in a truck owned by murder suspect Robert Bryant. Bryant is the prime suspect in the killing of Reymunda Baca, whose half-naked body was found in another truck owned by Bryant in Tesuque earlier this month. He also is a suspect in the July 4, 1996, disappearance of Sandra Payne, a Santa Fe woman. Baca, 28, of Albuquerque, was strangled to death and there is a strong indication that she may have been raped, according to the Office of the Medical Investigator and court documents.

During the course of investigating Baca's death, State Police officials last week executed a warrant to search a second truck owned by Bryant. In that truck they found a fanny pack containing a Hungarian passport and a South African identification card, both belonging to the same woman, State Police Capt. Pat Nolan said Tuesday during a press conference. The passport was issued to Dr. Gaborne Kis, 41, and it expired on July 31, 1997. The passport also contained a visitor's visa issued by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service on Aug. 11, 1994, with an expiration date of July 31, 1997. The South African identification card issued on May 7, 1992, had the name of Katalin Kis, but contained the same picture. Kis and a male friend of hers reportedly were living on the property owned by Bryant's father in Tesuque since the summer of 1996, Nolan said. Her male friend has been located, but the whereabouts of Kis are not known yet and investigators are trying to determine when she left Tesuque, he said.

Officials also are talking to Hungarian Consulate officials in Los Angeles to determine whether Kis was issued another passport, Nolan said. There is no evidence to link Kis' disappearance with Bryant at this point, but finding her belongings in his truck appears suspicious, he said. "If she didn't leave the country, she definitely could be a victim and something might have happened to her," Nolan said.

Investigators also recovered two to three pairs of panties from the truck which they believe belong to Kis. Kis reportedly was known to hang her clothes outside to dry and the undergarments have been weathered for a long time, Nolan said. Kis and her male friend stayed on the Bryant family property in exchange for helping the family with menial jobs, he said. Also found in the truck was a fuzzy Polaroid picture of Bryant's girlfriend who lives in Albuquerque, he said. Police also found a bag of pornographic material, a bag of sex toys, a black book titled "The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil" and other items in the truck, according to a search warrant affidavit. Bryant has hot been charged with Baca's death yet because officials are awaiting results of forensic tests to link him to her death, Nolan said, and also because he is already in custody for probation violation. "We have enough evidence to charge him with Reymunda Baca's murder," Nolan said. "Had he not been in custody, we would have issued an arrest warrant, charging him with her murder." Investigators have collected hair, blood and saliva samples from Bryant and are awaiting results to match those with evidence recovered from the crime scene.

Nolan said those results could take from two days to several months depending on the workload at the state crime lab. Bryant allegedly was driving with Baca's body when he was arrested for drunken driving by a Santa Fe police officer on Feb. 20, Nolan said. According to court documents: During the DWI arrest, Bryant told Santa Fe police officer Roger Romero, "My whole life is in the back of this truck." His truck was impounded, but the camper shell where Baca's body was later found was never opened because it was secured with a chain and three padlocks, court documents say. Bryant's father picked up the truck from the impound lot on Feb. 28, but his brother discovered the body on March 5 after he cut the padlocks, the documents say. Initially, Bryant's father and brother thought Baca's body was a mannequin. But on March 6, they called Bryant's attorney, Robert Cole of Albuquerque, to report they may have found a dead body in the truck. Cole told a State Police officer about the body, which was later identified as that of Baca. One of the arrest warrant affidavits says Bryant "has been implicated in several disappearances of young females in the Santa Fe and Albuquerque area." However, Nolan said he didn't want to mislead the public that every missing person in both areas is linked to Bryant because there no evidence to support that claim.

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