Family seeks justice in 2-year-old murder case

Family seeks justice in 2-year-old murder case

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(Pictured: Murder victim Juan Ochoa)

SOUTH SALT LAKE -- Two years to the day after his death, the family of a South Salt Lake murder victim is hoping time has shaken loose new information and possibly some loyalties that will help police charge a man in the crime.

Juan Ochoa, 25, was standing outside a Flower Patch store in the early morning hours of October 7, 2007, when someone drove up in a car and shot and killed him.


Two days later, police arrested a suspect after they received a tip on the car-- one they say was positively identified by a witness.

"He had the car hidden under the tarp," South Salt Lake Police Officer Gary Keller said. "[He] was in the process of altering the appearance by getting it painted, made arrangements to have the vehicle painted, but it just wasn't enough at the time."

Keller said the man they arrested, 22-year-old Steven Daniel Lucero, is still a person of interest in the case but detectives are looking at many possibilities.

Keller said police don't know a motive, but Ochoa wasn't robbed and Keller said there's no evidence of gang involvement. Police believe there was some sort of argument before the shooting at 3202 South and 300 West.

"It is frustrating," said Ochoa's brother, Sergio Ochoa. "We don't know what's going on." Ochoa and the rest of his family live out of state and have been trying to keep in touch with deputies.

Ochoa said his brother was in Salt Lake City to work. He had a girlfriend at the time of the murder but the family has lost contact with her.


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Marc Giauque


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