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UPD announces charges in 1979 cold case murder

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Investigators have identified two suspects, and prosecutors are charging them, in a cold case murder dating back to 1979 in Holladay.

Jack Richardson, 54, was confined to a wheelchair when a deputy found him shot to death in what appeared to be some kind of robbery.

Two of Richardson’s daughters were present as Unified Police Department Sheriff Rosie Rivera, District Attorney Sim Gill and detectives announced the developments at UPD headquarters on Friday.

“It’s been 39 years since he was taken from us, and what a cruelty it was,” one of them said.

“I want you to know that there’s not a day that goes by that the pain in my heart isn’t as real as the day that this happened,” the other said, asking for help tracking down the suspects now identified as the men who murdered her father.

Cold case investigators say Hector Brito, also known as Cuchy…

and Pascual Alfonseca Jr., also known as Pacolo…

targeted Richardson for his weapons.  People who knew the suspects reported to police that the pair simply went to rob Richardson, but, the gun went off.

Detective Ben Pender says, “These two individuals had dressed up as women, got on the bus and fled to a different state.”

Both are facing charges of murder in the second degree, obstruction of justice and aggravated burglary. Investigators believe they are living out of state, possibly under aliases.

UPD officials say evidence collected nearly 40 years ago has been re-examined with the help of modern technology and techniques that were not available at the time of Richardson’s death.

Gill said warrants were issued years ago for Alfonseca and Brito, but the two men were never found and those warrants were eventually dismissed. UPD’s Cold Case Unit took over, leading to the re-examination of the evidence and charges filed.