In December 2020, officers with the Pyramid Lake Police Department received a 911 call regarding a stabbing at a home located on the Pyramid Lake reservation in Nixon, according to the United States Attorney’s Office - District of Nevada.
The call came from the victim’s 15-year-old daughter, who was one of three children at the home when the stabbing took place.
The victim, a 37-year-old pregnant indigenous woman, was identified only by her initials, A.D., officials said.
While deputies were investigating the scene, 36-year-old Michael Burciaga, the victim’s boyfriend, returned to the scene and confessed to the killing after harming himself, authorities said.
Burciaga told investigators, “I already know what happened, and I know what I did.”
Burciaga stabbed his girlfriend multiple times with at least two knives at her home in Nixon, killing her and her unborn child, authorities said.
In June, a federal jury convicted Burciaga of first-degree murder on tribal land, plus domestic assault by a habitual offender and violating the Protection of Unborn Children Act.
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On Sept. 25, Burciaga was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years, officials said.
“Today’s sentencing ends a tragic story of cold-blooded murder,” said Special Agent in Charge Spencer L. Evans for the FBI. “While life in prison will not undo the crime committed by Mr. Burciaga, it will prevent him from victimizing anyone on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation again.”
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