- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Friends of a man who was found beheaded and mutilated behind an Albuquerque store say the victim was homeless.

Carlos Atencio said he met Clifford Miller, 42, about a month ago when Miller, of McAlester, Oklahoma, was living in a homeless shelter with all of his belongings.

Miller’s body was found Saturday nude and castrated behind a Wal-Mart on Albuquerque’s northeast side. Police are still investigating the killing.

Atencio said Miller lost two jobs during his short time in Albuquerque, had lost his phone and was sleeping in shelters and bus stations.

“I felt for him,” Atencio said. “He was carrying such a heavy load . He was struggling to keep his head above water, and people were taking advantage of him.”

Atencio said about a week ago Miller asked if he could stay with the other man, but Atencio said they didn’t know each other well enough. Atencio said he feels guilty that his friend may have died shortly after his request.

“I don’t know if that night was the night that he met his end,” said Atencio. “I’ll never know.”

Atencio said he worries he’s the last person to have seen Miller alive. He said he has no idea what could have happened to his friend.

“Maybe he was out in the cold and tried to hitch hike a ride with somebody,” Atencio said. “I know that there are people out there that are just sociopathic killers, and maybe there are people out there that kill homeless people.”

The wondering is hard for Atencio, who said it’s jarring to have lost Miller.

“Even though I only knew him for about a month,” Atencio said. “I feel like I’ve lost a friend. I’m just trying to come to grips with that.”

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