Marcelo Marquez, 34, and his wife, Janelle Marquez Monroy, 38, were quietly living in a home in West Valley City, Utah, before they recently drove to Sacramento, where he is accused of killing two sheriff’s deputies, wounding another deputy and a private citizen in northern California on October 24, reports FOX 13 News. But these were not the only victims.
The couple also left behind 6 pets in their West Valley City home, according to the report. Animal control officers said one animal was dead, one was injured, and the others were starving.
Marquez is accused of fatally shooting of Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver in the forehead in the Sacramento Arden-Arcae area on October 24. After Oliver was killed, a motorist who resisted surrendering his car keys was shot in the face. Later two Placer County deputies, Michael David Davis, Jr., and his partner, approached the couple on a road to inspect their vehicle, believing it might have been involved in the earlier Sacramento crimes, and were shot with an AR-15-type assault weapon, police said.
Placer County Homicide Detective Michael David Davis Jr., 42, died at a hospital, exactly 26 years to the day after his father, a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputy, was killed in the line of duty on October 24, 1988, according to FOX40 News.
Immigration authorities say the fingerprints show the suspect's real name is Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte, and he had been living in the U.S. illegally after being convicted in Arizona for selling drugs in 1997 and deported to Mexico twice.
Two years after the deportation, court records show that the same person, using the name Marcelo Marquez was arrested on April 21, 2003, in West Valley City for misdemeanor hit-and-run and making a false police report. He pleaded guilty, received a year of probation and was fined about $500, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Investigators still have not been unable to uncover the motive for the shootings, nor why the couple was in Sacramento.
At their arraignment on Tuesday, prosecutors filed murder charges against both suspects for the deaths of two California sheriff's deputies. The 14-count complaint charges both with the murder of one deputy, though authorities say Monroy-Bracamonte fired the fatal shots. He alone is charged with the other slaying, according to the Associated Press.
The complaint alleges for the first time that Monroy-Bracamonte stole a Placer County sheriff's department vehicle and shotgun.
It also accuses both suspects of attempting to murder two other Placer County sheriff's deputies, Charles Bardo and Joseph Roseli, along with attempting to murder and wounding Placer County deputy Jeffrey Davis, who was treated for a gunshot wound to the arm, the AP reports. The charges say Monroy-Bracamonte fired the assault rifle at all three deputies, with Monroy as an accomplice.
PETS THE SUSPECTS LEFT BEHIND
West Valley City is a suburb of Salt Lake City and the second-largest city in Utah. According to the city’s website, West Valley City Animal Services provides animal control for the area.
On October 31, FOX13 reported that animal control officers got a call during the week that pets had been abandoned at a house located near 2900 West and 3000 South.
According to the report, “The pets initially appeared to be healthy enough for officials to follow normal procedures,” which was a 24-hour required pre-seizure notice posted on the door, advising residents or owners of the animals to contact the agency.
However, before the 24 hours elapsed, FOX13 reports that Animal Services received a call that one dog appeared to have died and another was injured.
Animal Services officers returned to the home and verified the report—which would provide exigent circumstances (a situation where the animals needed immediate care, including being removed from the location for their safety.) This allowed them to obtain a warrant and enter the home.
When they went inside, they found five dogs and one cat, including an injured Pit Bull and a Jack Russell Terrier that had died. Officers told FOX13 that “the two dogs were likely attacked by three Rottweilers kept in the home–an adult male and female as well as one puppy.”
“We believe those injuries happened because the animals were being starved,” said Nathan Beckstead, animal control field supervisor.
Beckstead also told FOX13 that there was no food or water for the animals in the house. However, the dogs had been fed “periodically by people who put food over the fence.”
He also said that a cat was locked in a room without food or water, with approximately three weeks’ of feces. All the animals were impounded, according to Supervisor Beckstead, who also stated that it is not clear whether charges will be filed, pending investigation.
Officials said it is likely the animals will be put up for adoption.
A PLEA FOR WELFARE CHECKS ON ABANDONED PETS
Abandoned pets left for days or weeks before they are removed by animal control agencies is, unfortunately, not uncommon. Neighbors are often reluctant to call about what appear to be neglected animals—although they might call promptly about an elderly person or a child in the same situation. Also, as in this case, people believe just throwing those small amounts of food---which the animals then fight over—rather than notifying authorities, is kindness.
This high-profile case would seem to perfectly illustrate the need for a closer investigation to determine the exact condition of abandoned animals before leaving the premises. It emphasizes the need for animal control agencies nationwide to adopt a policy of performing the same prompt humane “welfare check” that they would for humans, which may involve asking a police officer or sheriff’s deputy to accompany the animal control officer to the property.
Since the victims are totally helpless and voiceless, don’t we owe them a closer look before leaving them behind--again?