Shattered Dreams: The Tragic Case of Dawn Sandoval and the Consequences of Domestic Violence

…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media. The Tragic Case of Dawn Sandoval: A Tale of Domestic Violence and Justice Served


The Dawn Sandoval murder case shook the community, revealing the devastating consequences of domestic violence.

The unexpected demise of Dawn has had a profound impact on her family, leaving an irreplaceable void in the hearts of those who held her dear.

Nonetheless, through the unwavering commitment of law enforcement, justice has been duly served.


Dawn Sandoval – A Life Cut Short Dawn Sandoval, a devoted mother and a Registered Nurse at Synergy Inc., met a tragic end that sent shockwaves through her loved ones and the entire community.

Dawn possessed a deep passion for her profession and cared profoundly for her clients.

Beyond her dedication to nursing, she also exhibited remarkable talent as a dancer and found solace in playing the flute during her leisure time.

Having completed her Nursing degree at Highlands University, Dawn made a positive impact on the lives of those fortunate enough to know her.

The Disappearance and the Search However, in April 2018, the life of Dawn Sandoval took a dark turn.


At age 46, she went missing from her home in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, leaving her worried sister Anita restless.

Anita promptly reported Dawn’s disappearance to the Rio Rancho Police Department on April 16, 2018, hoping to find her sister.

The authorities and the dedicated officers and detectives launched an immediate search for Dawn.

A Grim Discovery Sadly, the search for Dawn Sandoval came to a grim end.

On May 5, 2018, human remains were discovered in a desolate area of Sandoval County.


The body, identified as Dawn Sandoval’s, had been burnt, making it challenging to determine the exact cause of death due to decomposition.

However, the Office of the Medical Investigator ruled it a homicide, leaving Dawn’s family devastated.

The Culprit: Michael Encinias, the Ex-Husband As the investigation into Dawn Sandoval’s murder unfolded, suspicion fell upon her ex-husband, Michael Encinias.

Michael and Dawn had been married for 19 years but divorced in February 2018.

However, just days before Dawn’s disappearance, they had been attempting to reconcile their relationship, leading to a sense of disbelief for Anita Sandoval, Dawn’s sister.


The arrest of Michael Encinias on November 15, 2018, confirmed their worst fears.

According to official court records, Michael Encinias is currently facing charges of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

Unveiling the Truth and Seeking Justice New revelations emerged during the trial, indicating that the couple’s twin children had overheard their parents engaged in a heated argument on the evening preceding Dawn’s sudden disappearance.

When initially questioned by the police, Michael had noticeable bruises on his face and neck, suggesting a potential altercation.

Michael claimed self-defense, stating that Dawn had attacked him, but the detectives found his wounds inconsistent with this explanation.


Witnesses at the trial attested to Michael’s history of violent behavior towards Dawn, including instances of physical abuse.

Taking all the evidence into account, the court sentenced Michael Encinias to 18 years in prison in November 2019, bringing some closure to the tragic case of Dawn Sandoval’s murder.

The Aftermath: Remembering Dawn and Seeking Justice The Dawn Sandoval murder impacted her family, friends, and the community she served as a nurse.

Her children were robbed of a loving mother, and her clients lost a compassionate caregiver.

Justice was served with Michael Encinias’s conviction, but the pain and sorrow of Dawn’s untimely death remain.


Dawn’s family, friends, and supporters are committed to preserving her memory and advocating for victims of domestic violence.

Their primary goal is to raise awareness about the early indicators of abuse and provide assistance to those facing crisis situations.

By sharing Dawn’s personal story, they are determined to prevent future tragedies and ensure that her legacy lives on.

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