January 16, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This was First Case Prosecuted Under the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Person Bill Passed in 2022
Farmington, NM – This morning, Jerry Jay was sentenced to 33 years in prison for the murder of Cecilia Finona. Finona was reported missing by her family in 2019, her remains were found in Las Vegas, Nevada two years later. Jay pleaded guilty to Second Degree Murder and First Degree Kidnapping.
On May 31, 2019 Jay murdered Finona after striking her in the back of the head with what was believed to be the blunt end of an ax, she was still alive when Jay placed her in the back of her own truck. Jay then proceeded to cross multiple state lines in the truck, using Finona’s debit card along the way to pay for new truck tires and gas before dumping her body in a remote desert culvert just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.
It took two years for Cecilia’s body to be found. While she was still missing, Jay was arrested and convicted with the unlawful use of Finona’s debit card in Nevada. While incarcerated, Jay disclosed to his jailmate how he had murdered Finona and in fact had murdered a previous girlfriend but “learned how to do it better this time.” These statements, along with video evidence, financial records, and extensive forensic evidence connected Jay to the murder and the ultimate identification of Cecilia’s body in Nevada and the circumstances of her disappearance in New Mexico.
“Jerry Jay is the complete opposite of what Cecilia was. Cecilia was a loving mother, generous neighbor and a celebrated veteran, qualities that would be appreciated in any community,” said New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez. “Jerry Jay took a bright light from the world in 2019 and for that he received the sentence that he deserves. I thank our prosecution team along with the San Juan County prosecutors for their dedication to this case and to Cecilia.”