SAN DIEGO – Eighteen years after a San Diego man was stabbed and killed outside a home party, police and the victim’s family issued a call for justice on Thursday.
Salvador Mercado was 25 years old when he was stabbed to death on Harris Avenue in the South Bay neighborhood of Palm City just after a party broke out on November 16, 2003.
The person responsible for his murder was never arrested, but detectives continue to search for eyewitnesses or other information that could close the case. It has left his family without closure due to a tragic loss, but not without hope that someone could finally come up with answers.
“I believe we will be able to resolve this issue,” said Mercado’s mother, Maria Najera, in a statement. produced video of the San Diego Police Department to raise awareness of the investigation. “And I will not give up.”
Dear, remember Mercado, who went after “Sal”, as “the light of the family”. He was a father, son and brother. The night the party took place, Najera says her son was home for dinner and “looked excited and happy” to go out. She hugged him and kissed him and said goodbye.
Hours later, Sgt. Jesus Sanchez and other SDPD officers were called to the block in Palm City, where a big party had just ended, and shots were reported. Sanchez says he showed up around midnight and saw people running away from the area.
Officers later learned that two people had been stabbed. One of them was Mercado. The 25-year-old was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
“I was told to hurry to the hospital because he had been stabbed,” Najera recalled. “When we got there, he was already dead. It was as if you did not even have a chance to hope for his life. Because he was gone. “
Many people from the community came out to the young man’s funeral days later. His sister, Angelina Najera, said they were attracted to Mercado because he was the kind of person who was “there to pick you up” if you had a hard day. She says her brother was a mentor through his involvement in local sports.
“He was admired by so many young people in the community because he was there to listen,” Angelina said. “He had so much empathy.”
Who killed Mercado remains a mystery. The host of the house party told authorities that several uninvited people collapsed the assembly and that they had just shut things down around the time of the 911 calls, sending participants out onto Harris Avenue.
“Witnesses saw who we think is Sal in a confrontation with another man,” it said. said Lori Adams. “Glass bottles started to break, a fight broke out, shots were heard and people dispersed.”
Mercado told one he had been stabbed and given a trip to the hospital. A 17-year-old showed up at the doctor’s office shortly after with his own stab wounds. He told hospital staff he was stabbed on Harris Avenue, but police were never given the opportunity to interview him, Adams said. “We want to talk to him to find out what happened to him and to fully understand what happened that night,” the detective said.
Because it was such a big party, investigators and Mercado’s family are still convinced that more people also have the answers they’re looking for, even 18 years later.
“If you’re a person who has information and you feel like you want to tell us, but at the same time are a little hesitant, you can feel God pulling at your heart. That tugboat is real,” said Mercado’s mother. me, once you have given that information, it will give you a lot of peace. “
Anyone with information about the murder – or even basic details about the night of the party – was encouraged to call the San Diego Police Department’s homicide unit at 619-531-2293 or the San Diego County Crime Stopper’s anonymous hotline at 888-580-8477.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $ 1,000 reward for pairing with a $ 9,000 reward from the Mercado family to anyone with information leading to an arrest in this case.
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