Monterey County

Salinas police make headway in brutal murder investigation

Officers receive numerous leads in Hot Stop homicide

Memorial for Hot Stop victim

SALINAS, Calif. - Salinas police said they are making headway in one of the most brutal armed robbery murders they've seen in the city. Investigators said they have many good leads in the attempted armed robbery Aug. 15 that killed a 55-year-old woman.

As family and friends hold a viewing on Friday for Sook Mi Oh, police said they're getting closer to catching the two killers. They said it's all thanks to the surveillance video they released of the violent murder that's getting many people to come forward.

"This is a brutal crime," said Sgt. Jeff Gibson, with the Salinas Police Department. "There's no ifs, ands or buts about it. It's probably one of the more brutal ones that we've seen in our time, as far as armed robberies."

Gibson said he has seen a lot of armed robberies, but never has he seen one escalate the way it did at the Hot Stop market.

On Friday, the memorial for Oh continued to grow in front of the store.

"We wanted to shock the conscience, if you will, to get people to call in. We wanted them to be appalled by what happened," Gibson said.

That's why police released the surveillance earlier this week. Three people were shot several times by the two suspects in the video.

"We're getting a lot of good leads that we're following up on," Gibson said.

He said those leads would not have come in if it were not for the video. The 13-member investigation unit has been working long, nonstop hours on the case.

"Some of the calls I could say have led us in the right direction. Other calls have not, but obviously I have to get my folks out there to follow up on calls to be able to corroborate that information that we're getting," he said.

Police said they will do what they need to do to give Oh's family and friends closure.

"I want these guys in custody," Gibson said. "I have every bit of confidence it will happen. When it will happen, I can't say, but in time it will happen."

Oh's family is raising reward money for anyone who comes forward with information leading to an arrest. The link to the GoFundMe account is:

They have also set up a Wells Fargo account for donations. The account number is 7144673543.

Anyone with information on the incident can report tips anonymously by calling 1-800-78-CRIME.

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