Alex Rios, 18, Nathaniel Carrillo, 16, and Gilbert Tafoya, 15, have all been charged with murder. While Carrillo and Tafoya were being held in a juvenile facility, police said all three would probably face adult charges.
The bodies of the two victims were found in a field Saturday morning. Tafoya allegedly told police after he and his friends were arrested later that day that the trio had attacked at least 50 homeless people in recent months.
The teens allegedly admitted the vicious beatings. Investigators said they told detectives they decided to go out to look for victims because Tafoya was upset about breaking up with his girlfriend.
A third man, Jerome Eskeets, was assaulted but was able to escape, police said. His story helped police make arrests.
Simon Drobik, an Albuquerque police spokesman, said the men were punched, kicked and beaten with cinder blocks and a metal pole. He said the condition of the bodies was so bad homicide detectives had trouble dealing with it.
"They are unrecognizable," Drobik said at a news conference. "My question is: Who failed these kids? How did it get to this point? It was so violent. I was sick to my stomach."
Police asked other homeless people who have been assaulted recently to come forward.