It's not our usual kind of story. It is a story of a community coming together around a family who's grieving for the last 10 years has clearly left them in a place that no family should be.
The Loera family describe themselves as "rooted" in Muskegon and if you've been here for any amount of time, not only is the family name prominent in and around town, they have carved a niche in the community with their active roles in so many different areas, their famous restaurants called the Flamingo and music has been a big part of the lore of the Loera family as well. If you don't know them personally, well, they are very close, they are very giving and they continue to be all that's described of them even in the face of an unsolved tragedy that is now 10 years old.
Alvaro Loera was murdered 10 years ago in his home. A 72 year old widower, Al was said to be the kind of guy that anyone needing a second chance should have found. He would often employ those who couldn't find work, he would give of himself to help charity and community and his commitment to Muskegon Heights was second to none. There has never been a suspect in this horrible case and in the 10 years since the murder happened, the case has been moved into "cold case files" and there are little or no answers being provided to the Loera family. It's a wound that won't heal for these members of the family. From siblings, to children and grand kids they are all missing a huge piece of their life in the absence of Al.
With a cold case, and this being our first experience reporting on one....there are a lot of questions. How does a cold case work? Where do they draw the line on the case being active to making it a "cold case". Are there any options for people to work to move a case like this forward when there's so few clues to go on? This is partly why the Loera family is asking for some help. There might not be a quick and easy answer unless someone who knows what happened comes foreword. There might be someone out there who's responsible for this who's got the incident weighing heavy on their soul. There may be someone out there who can pick up the investigation and find that missing piece. These are really good people who want nothing more than closure and they are here asking for help.
It's not an easy conversation to be a part of with the Loera family. There's a mix of loss, anger, unknown and more. One thing is abundantly clear....they are hurting. We hope that the reach and the request for help is heard far and wide. Take a listen.
It's been 10 years. The request is blunt yet simple. If you know anything about the death of Alvaro Loera, it's time to come clean with it. The anguish of generations is too much for any family to bear and the tragedy of losing a man like Al is bad enough without not finding closure. The number to the Silent Observer in Muskegon is 231-72 CRIME (231-722-7463). If you know anyone that has any information regarding this case, please make that call now and help this dear family and their grief.