One year has come and gone since Ralph Salazar and Alice Griego were found shot to death inside a Sandy home that had been intentionally set on fire.
For family members of the couple, their pain has not dulled over time. They have no closure.
Who killed Salazar and Griego — and why — is still a mystery.
"None of us can have closure until we know exactly what happened," said Lisa DeHerrera, Salazar’s niece. "It’s another Christmas season where we are just empty and filled with sadness."
Family members of Salazar, 59, and Griego, 55, gathered Friday at the Unified Police Department for a news conference, pleading for anyone who could shed light on what happened inside Salazar’s home at 2811 Ksel Drive (2730 East) on Dec. 14, 2012, to come forward to police.
"We are all here because we need some closure," said Mario Rodriquez, one of Griego’s five children. "We’re all affected by it. A huge chunk of my heart is taken out. We just ask that if anybody … knows anything, please call the police."
Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said Unified Police have gathered "significant" evidence in the case, but they believe there are people who know exactly what happened inside of Salazar’s home one year ago.
"Like so many cases, after a period of time, these situations become difficult," Winder said. "These two individuals are the husbands, mothers, brothers and sisters of individuals, and this crime needs to be solved."
Police and fire officials responded to Salazar’s home at 8:25 a.m. on Dec. 14, 2012, to fight a house fire. While firefighters worked to contain the blaze, they found the couple. Police have since determined the couple were shot and the fire was set intentionally, but the ensuing blaze made it difficult to find any other clues.
Winder said police have "several theories" about why the couple were murdered, but they are still trying to piece together who was in the home moments before the shooting.
"I think we are dealing with someone who is very keen to cover up their actions," he said. "That’s fairly obvious. [It is] an individual who knew what they were going to do. But I think the individual has made some mistakes, and somebody out there knows the mistakes."
If anyone has information about the case, they are asked to contact the Unified Police Department at 385-468-9817.
Griego’s daughter, Jenna Griego, said Friday that her siblings are offering the money from her mother’s 401(k) plan as a reward for information that would lead police to the killer.
"She left that for us," the daughter said. "But we’re using that to catch this person."
Griego met Salazar two years before their deaths while she was renting property owned by him. She worked at a bakery inside a grocery store, and he owned a business, RS Aluminum. Salazar had one adult daughter, while Griego was the mother of five.
Griego’s children said their mother was irreplaceable — a single mom who was both a mother and father to her children through their lives.
"I was her baby," Rodriquez said. "And it’s been really, really tough without her."
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