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Family remembers grandpa killed in 1980 cold case: ‘We’re pleading for help’

Sep 13, 2023, 11:51 AM | Updated: 1:42 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Police Department is asking for tips to help solve a decades-old homicide investigation.

This investigation goes back to May 11, 1980, when 76-year-old Celedon Archuleta was found dead inside his home at 856 S. 900 West.

The family has been living with questions and unknowns about what happened to their grandfather and great-grandfather for the last 43 years.

They are asking for the public’s help to find closure.

SLC police ask for tips in 1980 cold case

Turning back the clock to May 11, 1980, which happened to be Mother’s Day: Angie Bryan had just turned 13 years old.

Just about every weekend, she would go to her grandfather’s house to visit.

“He would sit on his porch behind us and wave to passersby. He was hard-working,” Bryan said.

Before May 11 marked her last visit as an investigation began that afternoon for her grandfather, Celedon Archuleta.

According to Salt Lake City police, during the investigation, detectives learned someone entered his home, killed him and ransacked the house.

“Our grandfather didn’t deserve to die the way that he did,” Bryan said.

Salt Lake City police said detectives have exhausted all available leads with no suspect identified.

Multiple people have been interviewed by the police department’s homicide squad with no luck.

Newer forensic technology to test evidence collected in 1980 has also proven unsuccessful toward new leads.

It is a hard street to walk for family, including Brenda Robbs, also a grandchild of Archuleta.

“When we look back on that house and that grocery store there and this whole neighborhood, we have so many memories. There were so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren that would come visit him all the time. This was a busy place for family,” Archuleta said.

Detectives believe there are people who have information about Archuleta’s death. Family does, too.

“Somebody has got to have heard something; a whisper, a hint. Somebody heard something,” Robbs said.

We want to be his voice. He no longer has a voice, and we want to be his voice. We will continue to be his voice, so we’re pleading for help from the community to put this case behind us and give us our family some peace,” Bryan said.

If you have any information about this case, you are asked to contact the Salt Lake City Police Department at 801-799-3000 and reference case No. 80-34923.

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Family remembers grandpa killed in 1980 cold case: ‘We’re pleading for help’