SALT LAKE CITY — The family of a South Jordan man killed this past week issued a statement Saturday night thanking the community for sending messages of support.
David Stokoe was found dead Friday after police believe an altercation took place at one of his properties on Thursday.
On Saturday night, Stokoe’s family issued a statement thanking those who have sent messages of support over the past few days. The family said they'd rather focus on the positive aspects of Stokoe's life rather than the negative end.
In a statement, the family said:
“Thank you so much for your support... Our hearts are broken over the loss of Dave. This situation is tragic beyond words, but we are remembering Dave the way he deserves to be remembered, as a hero and champion. We know we will see him again someday, and that families are forever. We are choosing to focus on the love we feel from everyone, and the love we feel for Dave, rather than resentment surrounding the circumstances of his death. He’s cheering for us, watching over us, and wants us to love life and love each other. We are so grateful for the overwhelming love and support we've received through prayers, service, emails, posts, and texts. We feel your prayers and appreciate the outpouring of love and charity from friends, neighbors and strangers.”
Stokoe, who worked in real estate, went missing on Thursday after going to one of his properties in Salt Lake City. When Stokoe's family did not hear back from him, police began investigating his disappearance on Friday.
On Friday evening, police had been called to investigate a "suspicious circumstance" at the home in question and discovered evidence that it was a crime scene. Stokoe's body was later discovered at the home by police and a homicide investigation began.
Police believe Stokoe was killed by gunshot on Thursday night. "My understanding is he showed up there for rent or to have a conversation about their continuing to rent there and an altercation took place resulting in his death," Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilking said at a briefing on Saturday.
Police arrested three individuals in connection Stokoe's death at an apartment complex in South Salt Lake early Saturday. Manuel Velasquez, 31, was booked into Salt Lake County Jail on investigation of murder and other felony charges. Diana Hernandez, 30, and Jessica Reese, who goes by the alias Jessica Miller, 38, were taken into custody for investigation of obstruction of justice, according to Wilking.
Two individuals were arrested driving Stokoe’s car early Saturday morning, but neither was taken into custody in relation to Stokoe's death, Wilking reported. One of the individuals was released and the other was jailed on a parole-related violation.
Stokoe is survived by his wife and four children. A GoFundMe* account has been created for Stokoe’s family to help with expenses.
*KSL.com does not assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.
Editor's note: Salt Lake County Sheriff's officials told KSL Sunday that Jessica Miller is an alias. This article was edited to add the woman's actual name of Jessica Reese.