SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – For the past two years, the Stokoe family has been making their way to the Larkin Sunset Gardens Cemetery.
There, they gather at David Stokoe’s gravesite. He was suddenly killed in 2019.
“We remember and honor him,” said his mother, Diane Stokoe. “His birthday is May 26th. He would have been 43-years-old.”
It’s been more than three years since Stokoe was gunned down in the prime of his life.
“David was a hard-working awesome committed family man,” said his mother. “He would do anything for anyone. He would go out of his way to help people.”
Shortly after his death, a vigil brought together hundreds of friends along with his family.
“It is so meaningful that so many would come out at this vigil on behalf of my son David Stokoe and honor him and pay tribute to him and talk about the person he is,” his father Tom Stokoe told ABC4.
Stokoe was a realtor for Ranlife Real Estate in Sandy. He was also a family man, leaving behind a wife and four children.
“Now here is a young widow with four children that are trying to move through life and do well. and they are.”
In January, 2019, Stokoe was murdered at a home he owned in Salt Lake City. He was trying to evict three people. That night, he never returned, and South Jordan police issued a missing persons alert. His body was later found in a crawl space in the home.
Three people were arrested, with the suspected killer as Manuel Velasquez, along with his roommate Jessica (Miller) Reese and friend Diana Hernandez.
On this Memorial Day, Diane Stokoe can only think of the loss that she, her family and the community has had to deal with.
“(He) was successful,” she said. “He was bright. He was compassionate. He was conned by two people that had no business walking the streets.”
Later this week, in part 2 of this story, the Stokoe family feels victimized a second time.