Recently deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s secluded “Zorro Ranch” property in New Mexico is drawing attention, as state authorities there say they are cooperating with investigators and have already handed over 400 pages of Epstein’s property records.
The documents, which may contain names of Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators, were handed to investigators by New Mexico Public Lands Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard. Matt Baca, the spokesman for New Mexico’s attorney general, said in July that state officials were interviewing people who allege they were sexually abused at Epstein’s ranch.
In an interview with CBS News on Aug. 22, Garcia Richard said she hoped that by cooperating with investigators, more alleged victims of Epstein would be able to come forward. She added, “there is a story to be told in New Mexico.”
Part of Epstein’s New Mexico property is on land he leased from Richard’s office.
“To say that it was heart-wrenching and sickening to see this man’s signature on state land office documents is an understatement,” Garcia Richard said.
While Epstein didn’t face criminal charges in New Mexico, he was accused in a 2015 court filing in Florida of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl in several locations, including New Mexico.
His “Zorro Ranch” covers thousands of acres that included a massive million-dollar home that sits at the center of the property located in a rural desert area. Aerial images of the property show an airplane hangar and landing strip. Closer to the east edge of the property, several structures that appear to serve as small homes and horse stables stand in public view.
“They name folks that were ranch managers, and so you just kind of wonder who knew what and when, at the time that these activities were taking place,” she told the network.
Aside from the main mansion, Epstein’s ranch property also included a pool, firehouse, offices, a log cabin, and a guest house among other amenities, according to state property records obtained by CBS News.
Richard also said the property, which spans nearly 10,000 acres, also contained an airstrip, an antique railroad car, and train tracks. She said Epstein appeared to have no connections in New Mexico before he bought the ranch.
She said the probable reason Epstein wanted to move to New Mexico was to stay away from prying eyes.
“I think there’s a perception that people won’t ask questions … this case can really show the world that you can’t get away with things in New Mexico,” Garcia Richard said.
Court documents say Epstein sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at different locations.
Epstein, who federal prosecutors say was worth more than $500 million, owned and maintained “luxury properties and residences around the world,” according to a bail memorandum by the Southern District of New York. That includes a roughly 75-acre island located in the U.S. Virgin Islands and a mansion located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan that is reportedly one of the largest single residences in New York City, among others.
Epstein was in a Manhattan jail, facing trial on child sex trafficking charges, when he was found dead in his cell on Aug. 10. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging.