A Utah real estate agent was allegedly gunned down by tenants he was trying to evict — and his body was found inside a crawl space in the apartment, according to a report.
David Stokoe, a dad of four, had gone to the Salt Lake City home Thursday after letting his renters know they needed to be out by 6 p.m., according to the Salt Lake Tribune. His body was found the next day.
One of the tenants, Manuel Velasquez, told police he got into a fight with Stokoe on Thursday evening because the landlord kicked the door and put him into a “very serious” chokehold, court documents obtained by the paper say.
Velasquez, 31, told cops that while he was being subdued, he grabbed a handgun inside the fannypack he was wearing and shot Stokoe multiple times.
Later, Jessica Reese, who also goes by Jessica Miller, 38, and Diana Hernandez, 30, allegedly cleaned the apartment and hid Stokoe’s body.
But Stokoe’s mother, Diane, and his half-brother Dean Belov dispute Velasquez’s story — saying their loved one would never instigate a fight.
Velasquez was booked in Salt Lake County Jail on multiple charges, including suspicion of murder, and Reese and Hernandez were both booked on charges of obstruction of justice.
Stokoe’s family said their “hearts are broken over the loss” in a statement released Saturday.
“This situation is tragic beyond words, but we are remembering Dave the way he deserves to be remembered, as a hero and champion.”
The family set up a GoFundMe to help Stokoe’s widow, Nikki, and their four young children.