LAS VEGAS, NM (KRQE) – A couple wants to know why Las Vegas Police didn’t do more to help save its son before a reported domestic violence dispute turned deadly.
Audio from a neighbor’s 911 call on July 18, 2016, gives some insight into what led up to the suspected murder.
Neighbor: “Um, yeah, there’s some sort of domestic violence situation going on next door.”
Dispatch: “What can you hear?”
Neighbor: “Um, screaming and it sounds like someone is getting slammed with something.”
A frantic neighbor could be heard talking to dispatch, saying she heard a call for help from Steven Marquez.
The next day, Marquez was found dead by his parents in his apartment, reportedly beaten to death with a blunt object by his lover, Daniel Sullivan.
Now, Marquez’s family is going after the city of Las Vegas and the responding officers, Elias Rael, Caleb Marquez and Joseph Mascarenas.
“Had the police performed a proper investigation that day, Steven Marquez would be alive today,” the family’s attorney, Alexandra Smith, said.
The family is suing, claiming police did not have the proper training to respond to domestic violence calls.Read the lawsuit, here >>
The wrongful death lawsuit states the three officers showed up to investigate, knocked on the door and heard what police described as a “sarcastic knock” in response.
“This was someone signaling to them their intention and they need help,” Smith said. “But, instead of going in to make sure everybody was safe, they stopped their investigation and left.”
According to the report, officers were on scene for about 10 minutes, could not see inside any windows of the apartment, then talked to the neighbor who called 911. She said the commotion had stopped just a few minutes before police got there.
Smith cited the autopsy which states that after the struggle, Marquez was believed to have been alive for at least 12 hours before he died from his injuries.
“Had Mr. Marquez been found when the police originally arrived, they would have found him beaten and injured in need of medical attention. He could’ve been provided that medical attention and he would be alive,” Smith said.
The attorney representing the city of Las Vegas and the officers did not respond to KRQE News 13’s calls for comment.
The district attorney has charged the suspect, Daniel Sullivan, with second degree murder and the case was transferred to federal court on Wednesday.