Real Estate

Real estate agent killed while serving eviction notice, tenants arrested

David Stokoe's body discovered in secret compartment

A Salt Lake City husband and father of four, who worked in real estate his entire life, was killed while trying to serve an eviction notice. It’s a tragic example of the extreme danger real estate professionals face everyday when conducting business.

NBC News ran the mugshots of the three tenants who were arrested over the weekend after real estate agent David Stokoe's body was found. Reports say that Stokoe owned the property where the tenants lived and that an argument broke out when he tried to evict them from the premises.

From the NBC report:

Police said when they entered the apartment they saw evidence of a crime but not Stokoe's body. “Once we began processing that scene, we discovered that secret passage or secret door and then discovered his remains,” said Detective Greg Wilking, of the Salt Lake City Police Department, told KSLTV.

According to local ABC affiliate reporting, police said Stokoe was attempting to evict tenants when an argument broke out and he was shot multiple times.

Police allege that 31-year-old Manuel Velasquez shot Stokoe during the argument and he has been arrested on suspicion of murder. His roommate, Jessica Reese, and a friend, Diana Hernandez, allegedly helped Velasquez hide Stokoe's body in a small, semi-hidden compartment on the property and fled before getting caught, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Both Reese and Hernandez have been arrested on suspicion of obstruction of justice. 

On Monday night, hundreds attended a candlelight vigil honoring Stokoe in Salt Lake City. 

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