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Daughter remembers father killed in April construction site shooting

Amber Santee misses her father’s voice.

The 27-year-old spoke to reporters Wednesday afternoon in front of the construction site where her father was killed in April. Las Vegas police are still looking for answers in the case, and they’re asking for the public’s help.

“My dad was a strong guy,” she said. “I knew if I needed him, he’d protect me.”

Police have said Mark Santee, 48, was working the night shift as a security guard at an apartment complex under contruction in the 5100 block of South Jerry Tarkanian Way, near Russell Road and the 215 Beltway, when he may have tried to thwart a robbery in the early morning hours of April 27.

Officers found his body about 12:30 a.m. after the guard’s company called police and reported him missing from the site. Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Dan McGrath, from the homicide unit, said the man probably was drawn to the robbery scene when he heard a gate being knocked over near the street.

A fight followed, and McGrath said Santee “tried to fight back,” evidenced by his many defensive wounds. But the fight ended when one person or a group unloaded rounds into Santee’s head.

Police suspect multiple people were involved in the slaying, because the property that was being stolen would probably require several people to lift and carry. Detectives are searching for a pickup truck that may be connected to the robbery and homicide.

Police said the pickup, a newer model red or orange Chevrolet Avalanche or Cadillac Escalade, was seen on traffic cameras traveling southbound on Hacienda Avenue from Jerry Tarkanian Way. The truck circled the construction site twice around the time of the crime, McGrath said.

Investigators are combing through Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles records to try to find the truck, but officers want the public’s help to close the case more quickly and put the family at ease.

“It’s scary,” Amber Santee said about knowing the perpetrators are still out there. “I think about it every day.”

Mark Santee had been working nights as a security guard for several years. He had been married for about 30 years and had three daughters and three grandchildren. He was his family’s sole source of income, but his daughter said he also gave guidance and support.

Fighting off tears, she said he was going to miss her college graduation next year. And she had a message for the people responsible for her family’s pain:

“Come forward. Either way, you’re going to get caught.”

Anyone with any information on this case or this vehicle’s whereabouts can contact Metro’s homicide section at 702-828-3521 or Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 to remain anonymous.

Contact Wesley Juhl at wjuhl@reviewjournal.com and 702-383-0391. Find him on Twitter: @WesJuhl

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