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Reward increased to $10K for information about Denver teen's death

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DENVER – A Denver father desperate for answers in his son’s death is adding to the reward fund for information that leads to the killer. The Metro Denver Crime Stoppers reward for information about Diego Marquez’s death is now up to $10,000.

His father, Jose Marquez, said, “I’m just wanting to get justice for my son and get those individuals off the streets. You’d be doing the right thing, giving that information you have. I know someone knows a lot of things.”

Diego, 17, was shot and killed around 1 a.m. on Sept. 21 near Green Valley West Ranch Park.

Denver police do not have enough information to release a suspect description. However, Lt. Matt Clark said, “our detectives are working very diligently on this and there have been some very good Crime Stoppers tips and we are hopeful the increased reward motivates others to come forward who have information.”

Clark asked anyone who may have been in the area or saw something that night to come forward.

“If they were in the area of the park, if they drove by and saw person or people running from the park, that would be helpful for us. If they saw vehicles fleeing, that would be helpful for us,” he said.

Jose worries every day that if someone was willing to kill his son, they could kill again. He also worries about the recent violence that has taken several teenage lives in metro Denver. A 17-year-old was shot and killed at the Town Center at Aurora and another died after being found outside a 7-Eleven in west Denver near Sheridan Boulevard and Jewell Avenue.

“Young individuals getting firearms and stuff, not even thinking twice, pull the trigger and kill someone. It’s like they don’t even care about people. It’s out of control. Seems like an everyday thing, young individuals dying. There’s no reason for that. Other families grieving, just senseless — shouldn’t be happening,” Jose said.

Denver police are trying to address the issue. According to the Denver coroner, there were five juvenile homicides (17 years of age and younger) in 2017, eight in 2018 and seven in 2019.

Clark said, “There’s certainly a focus on them from the department. We are being more proactive, both Denver Public Schools through our gang unit and working with families through other resources. The department has to more aggressively work with these families ahead of time from a preventative standpoint as opposed to just being reactive. Our citywide impact team is also doing proactive work in the community to make sure we are trying to get ahead of the youth gun violence and getting them off the street and steering them toward a different path.”

If you have any information in the homicide of Diego Marquez, contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers: 720-913-7867.

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