Police: Holly White didn’t jump or ‘walk away’ from life

Laurie Celine
Posted 9/8/16

Missing Taos resident Holly Alcott White’s 50th birthday was about a month ago — Aug. 11. But while family and friends weren’t able to celebrate the occasion with her, police have continued to work the case.

On Aug. 26, state police moved …

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Police: Holly White didn’t jump or ‘walk away’ from life

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Missing Taos resident Holly Alcott White’s 50th birthday was about a month ago — Aug. 11. But while family and friends weren’t able to celebrate the occasion with her, police have continued to work the case.

On Aug. 26, state police moved White’s case from its “uniform bureau” to its “criminal investigation bureau.” The move, however, doesn’t shift the case from a missing persons one to a criminal one. That’s because police say they have yet to find evidence of foul play in White’s case.

White, the longtime general manager of the Taos Center for the Arts, was reported missing May 6. Her vehicle was located at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, prompting some to question whether she had jumped, or perhaps was pushed. A $5,000 reward has been offered since then by family and friends trying to find her.

Meanwhile, police have been searching through White’s emails and phone records, including text messages and voicemails.

State Police Lt. Edwardo Martinez said police have ruled out the possibility that Holly jumped from the bridge. They have also ruled out that she “just walked away from her life” without contacting anyone. At the same time, he reiterated, “the case may never turn into a criminal case.”

“We met with the criminal investigations lieutenant and sergeant and we went over the whole case and discussed it,” Martinez said. “[That White committed] suicide seemed unlikely for a couple of reasons. We found in her computer that she had plans for her future. She was looking for a job in Albuquerque and she was trying to sell her house and planning to move out of Taos,” Martinez said.

White had planned to join her husband Jeff White in Albuquerque, just days before she went missing. She had hoped to begin an administrative job at a Albuquerque dentist’s office. She had a job interview scheduled, according to one of her closest friends, Cynthia Arvidson.

“Also, she didn’t take any identification, she didn’t take any money, her bank accounts have no activity on them, [nor do] her credit cards,” said Martinez. “We ran her Social Security card through the system to see if the numbers were used to find employment elsewhere, and none of that panned out.”

In part because White’s body has never been found in the gorge or in the Rio Grande, while other bodies have been recovered during the time she’s been missing, police are confident she didn’t jump.

At the same time, Martinez said, police also have no evidence that something bad has happened to White.

White is still listed as a missing person with Taos County Crime Stoppers. Her father, Ray Alcott, has hired private investigator Elaine Graves of Santa Fe to help solve the case. Alcott and Graves hired two kayakers to search the the Rio Grande from Arroyo Hondo to Pilar on Sept. 5. Nothing was found, they said. They’ve also launched a Facebook page called “Find Holly White” where people can find or post information.

The case is now with State Police Criminal Sergeant William Terrazas. Anyone with information is being asked to contact Taos County Crime Stoppers by going online to taoscrimestoppers.org or by calling state police at (505) 454-5010.

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