Shots reported half day before

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By David Giuliani

Police got calls about gunshots in the area of a double homicide more than 12 hours before two bodies were discovered in a mobile home on Dec. 20, authorities say.

Around 3 p.m., the bodies of Stephanie Dimas, 25, and Damian Lucero-Ortiz, 24, were found in their home at 728 Dora Celeste.

Around 2 a.m. earlier that day, the Las Vegas Police Department received two calls — one from Enchanted Hills mobile home park and another from a mobile home park a block away on Dora Celeste — about reported gunshots.

Police Chief Gary Gold said the city and state police each sent three officers to find the source of the gunshots. Nothing could be found.

Gold said officers tried getting in touch with the initial callers but weren’t successful.

“We do everything we possibly can. We can’t go into every house,” he said. “That’s where we needed the community’s help. People need to say, ‘Let’s take back our streets.’”

Gold said calls reporting gunshots aren’t unusual.

Later on Dec. 20, a friend of the couple found their bodies inside their home, officials said. He contacted city police, but it was outside city limits, so the city handed the matter over to the state police, which handles most serious crimes in the county’s rural areas.

Sgt. Andrew Tingwall, a spokesman for the state police, said Thursday morning that he would refer questions about the murders to other state police officials and return with information. He hadn’t done so as of press time this morning.

Tingwall said state police may not be able to provide some information — such as where the shots were fired from — because his agency is still conducting its investigation.

Gold said city police are meeting with state police next week to make sure all are on the same page when it comes to the two agencies’ jurisdictions. He said he has seen two maps that conflict on jurisdiction.

A part of Dora Celeste is in the city’s jurisdiction, while the rest is outside city limits, Gold said. No one disputes that the crime scene is in state police jurisdiction.

Gold said the two agencies haven’t met in a while about such issues.

According to their obituaries, Dimas and Lucero-Ortiz were both studying at Highlands University to be elementary education teachers. She was working on her master’s degree in special education and elementary education. He was set to graduate in May.

They enjoyed custom cars and motorcycles. They are credited with beginning a car club called Obsession.

Friend Robin Brito said the victims were “really good people.”

“They were good Catholics, always at the 6 p.m. Mass. I got confirmed with them,” he said. “They take the good people.”