Local services scheduled for former Marine murdered in New Mexico

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Local services have been scheduled for a former Marine who was murdered in New Mexico.

Matthew Gurule, 32. (Photo courtesy of Sandra Miller, his mother).

Matt Gurule, 32, grew up in Central Texas and graduated from China Spring High School.

According to family, a memorial honoring him will be held Saturday, Sept. 14 from 2-4 p.m. at Christ the King Church, 4777 Lakeshore Dr., in Waco.

There will be a reception to follow at the Elks Lodge in Lorena, 3896 Old Lorena Rd.

A Rosary and visitation was held for him at the end of August in New Mexico where he was buried at Santa Fe National Cemetery.

Gurule served four tours of duty overseas including two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan after he joined the Marine Corps in 2005 in Waco.

Detectives found his body on the night of Aug. 16 in a ditch south of Belen, N.M. after he was robbed and gunned down on July 27 while listening to music alone on the side of the road near his home in Belen.

Authorities found his burned car later the same day in Valencia County, N.M.

Police arrested Francisco Gomez, 37, and his girlfriend Jeannine Willard, 45, on Aug. 10 after the two were seen using Gurule's credit cards around town.

Gomez is held without bond on a growing list of charges including murder, armed robbery, arson or negligent arson, assault with intent to commit a violent felony, aggravated battery, tampering with evidence, fraudulent use of a credit card, fraudulent transfer/receiving of a credit card and others including a bench warrant, according to Valencia County, N.M., Jail records.

During a hearing this week, a judge said Gomez had "an extraordinary, ongoing criminal history" and warrant history, many for failing to appear, and already had three felony cases and a misdemeanor case with violence pending.

Willard was released on Aug. 17 after posting $20,000 bond on charges including fraudulent use of a credit card, fraudulent transfer/receiving of a credit card, possession of methamphetamine, and bringing contraband into a prison, according to Valencia County Jail records.