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UPDATE: Muskegon family: Who killed Uncle Al? | News

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UPDATE: Muskegon family: Who killed Uncle Al?

UPDATE (Saturday, 6:00 P.M.)-- Friends and loved ones gathered in Muskegon Saturday morning to say their final goodbyes to Alvaro Loera.  He was buried at St. Mary's Cemetery.

So far, no arrests have been made for his murder.

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WZZM) - The well-known owner of a popular Muskegon restaurant is dead and police are looking for his killer.

Late Friday morning, the badly beaten body of 72-year-old Alvaro Loera was found in his Muskegon Heights home by his daughter and granddaughter.

"They found Al lying in a pool of blood, beaten to death," says cousin Joe Corona.

Loera lived alone, was in poor health, used a wheelchair and was connected to a canister of oxygen.

He was the retired owner of Flamingos ll Mexican Restaurant in Muskegon.

Most people called him "Uncle Al."

"A lot of us cousins all grew up together," explains Hope Varela. "We worked in the fields, picked pickles, picked blueberries and then everybody went on to make a life for themselves. He opened a restaurant, worked at Campbell's for many years and save his money."

His friends and relatives say Loera was very generous and tried to help people who needed it.

"Uncle Al was a good man who would give you the shirt of his back," says Marie Fisher, a former employee at Flamingos ll. "I don't know who would do this to him."

His family fears Loera's generous reputation may have led to his murder.

They suspect someone wanted more than he could give.

"It seems like somebody took his kindness for weakness," says Corona. "Maybe they didn't get what they wanted. How could you do that to an old man like that? A good hearted man like that."

In 2000, Alphonso Loera, Alvaro's 35-year-old son, was shot and killed just two blocks from his father's house while trying to stop a robbery at a neighborhood tavern.

"We've had a lot of tragedy in our family," says Varela.

Five teenagers were sent to prison for the murder of Alphonso.

So far, police aren't saying if they have any suspects in custody for killing Uncle Al.


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