New Mexico State Police confirmed a man was murdered on Oct. 7 on East Allen Street in the Carson Estates in Taos County, identified as Patrick Milligan, 49.
According to a statement from New Mexico State Police public information officer Mark Soriano, the NMSP Investigations Bureau was contacted by the Taos County Sheriff Office around 7:30 p.m. on the 7th regarding Milligan’s death, which they later determined to be a homicide.
“Milligan was taken to the Office of the Medical Investigator for an autopsy,” said Soriano on Tuesday (Oct. 12). As of press time, however, no arrest has been made in connection to Milligan's murder.
Milligan was remembered by local community members for his giving spirit. He was a driver for St. James Food Pantry. For years he brought food from the pantry to nearly a dozen families living on the mesa, said St. James Episcopal Youth Pastor Jill Cline.
“For a long time he would just pick up extra food for families who were registered on the mesa who couldn’t come in for food,” she said. More recently, he became the pantry’s Friday delivery driver. “There are 10 or 20 families out there he would help and take food to for as long as I've known him.”
Milligan also worked with Shared Table, another food pantry run out of El Pueblito United Methodist Church in El Prado.
“He really cared about people and making sure that they had their basic needs met. He really did everything he could to try and take care of people out there,” said Cline. “I found him to be a really caring and amazing guy.”
“He was just a huge hearted giver,” said Chris Milligan, Patrick’s brother and also a Taos resident. Chris said his brother had “a heart of gold” and that he was always looking to help others. “He hated to see conflict between people. He was always there to mediate between friends or neighbors, etc.”
Chris Milligan remembered growing up in the small town of Cochran, Georgia with his brother, and said they had both eventually made their way to New Mexico, but that Patrick spent time living in many different parts of the county before settling in Taos. He described Patrick as a gifted artist who crocheted Afghan blankets, played a djembe and “made some of the most amazing tie-dyes you've ever seen … He was a modern day hippie.”
Patrick was also a big fan of the band Phish, and Chris said Patrick was good friends with lead singer and guitarist Trey Anastasio.
Chris Milligan said his brother’s death comes as a huge shock, as he never knew Patrick to be one to surround himself with violence.
Others commented on his public Facebook page expressing their condolences and gratitude for Milligan’s life. “Patrick deserves justice. He was a good man, he delivered food to the neighborhood, he was working on affordable housing for the less fortunate, and he didn't deserve this,” posted Cody Morlan.
“The world is a sadder, sorrier place without him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you,” posted Steve Hatcher.
“My memories are that of good humored smiles, genuine interactions and some bizarre stories,” said Diana Hatcher.
As friends and family remember Milligan, the investigation into his death remains ongoing.
"Investigation Bureau agents continue to gather any and all relevant evidence, interviews, and information … findings will be shared with the Judicial District Attorney,” said Soriano.
Correction: in a previous version of this article, Jill Cline incorrectly called the St. James Food Pantry Director. She is the St. James Episcopal Youth Pastor.