Police continue to search for information on the death of a veteran firefighter killed inside his home just months before he was going to retire from the job.
Dave Madrigal was a superhero in a city that needs more of them. He was a beloved veteran firefighter, mentor and friend, fearlessly safeguarding the Motor City, the kind of guy who always swooped in and saved the day.
But on a bitter cold December Detroit morning, there was no one to protect him. He was found dead on December 21, 2015, after he failed to show up as promised to help wrap Christmas presents for needy kids.
"It's also especially difficult to think that a man who dedicated his life to rescuing strangers would be murdered in his own home," said Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones.
Crime Watch Daily Detroit affiliate WXYZ learned he was violently beaten to death, killed by blunt-force trauma to the head. It was two days before his son found him lying on the floor of his ransacked home.
Madrigal's safe was missing. There was no sign of forced entry. The firefighter's new Ford Explorer was found torched on the other side of town.
Adding even more to the tragedy, Madrigal died just months before he planned to retire.
Instead of a tribute party, Madrigal's friends and fellow firefighters were forced to give him a heartbreaking final goodbye.
No one has been charged in Madrigal's death, but cops say they believe he knew the man who killed him.
Police sources tell Crime Watch Daily former neighbor Timmy Lynn Soto is a person of interest in Madrigal's death.
Soto was recently arrested for armed carjacking, and published reports show he has a long rap sheet.
Neighbors reportedly said Soto would do odd jobs for Madrigal, but Madrigal cut all ties once he learned about Soto's criminal past.
Another fact raising suspicion: Police sources say Dave Madrigal's stolen Ford Explorer was found torched close to Soto's last known address.
Cops are hot to find the beloved firefighter's killer, and now Madrigal's brothers in blue are desperately calling for help
"Your tip, your phone call could result in the arrest of a suspect," said Fire Commissioner Jones. "We need this person off the street, now."
Anyone with information is asked to call the Detroit Police Department's Homicide Division at (313) 596-2260.