The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors renewed rewards Tuesday for information that helps detectives solve the killing of a tow truck driver gunned down more than six years ago in Norwalk and the 2015 disappearance of a young Littlerock mother, presumed dead.
Supervisor Janice Hahn recommended extending a $10,000 reward, set to expire Feb. 1, in the case of 22-year-old Robert Garcia, who was shot just before midnight on June 28, 2012, after finishing up a shift at Vernola’s Tow in the 13500 block of Norwalk Boulevard.
Security video from the tow yard showed three men confronting Garcia near a parked tow truck.
“Robert fled eastbound on Front Street toward the business, but was fatally shot multiple times at the front door of the building. Robert was a hardworking provider for his budding family, and had two small children at the time of his death,” according to a sheriff’s statement issued last year.
The suspects were described only as Hispanic males in their early to late teens, with thin builds. Two wore dark clothing, and one wore light clothing.
Garcia’s mother spoke at a June 2018 news conference at the Hall of Justice.
“My son was a very loving, family-oriented person,” Anna Salazar told reporters. “Everything he did revolved around his family, his children and his friends. There wouldn’t be anything that he wouldn’t do for anybody, to help anybody that he could. He was a very hard worker for his family, and if anybody out there knows something, please come forward.”
Supervisor Kathryn Barger recommended re-establishing a $20,000 reward for information in the suspicious disappearance of Monique Figueroa, who was last seen driving away from her home in the 7200 block of East Avenue U-12 around 4 a.m. on May 19, 2015.
Her car, a 2004 burgundy Mercedes-Benz, was recovered 12 days later in an abandoned shed in Juniper Hills. There was no sign of Figueroa, but authorities said there were signs of foul play inside the car.
The then-28-year-old woman had left her 2-year-old daughter in the care of her family, who reported her missing several days after she left home.
Jeff Figueroa told ABC7 the day after his daughter’s car was found that her boyfriend had been recently arrested in a murder case and she was known to hang out with gang members. He said he believed some of those acquaintances feared she would become a witness against them, though authorities told “Dateline NBC” that his daughter had refused to cooperate in the investigation.
Her father begged her captors to free her and told the station that he received a text from his daughter the day after she vanished, saying, “Had to leave; love you; be back soon.”
Investigators questioned people Figueroa had contact with and checked her cell phone and bank records for clues, but found no trail of cell phone or credit card use following her disappearance.
Homicide investigators received a tip in 2016 that Figueroa’s remains might be buried off the 11000 block of Pearblossom Highway in Palmdale. But a search by detectives, cadaver scent dogs and coroner’s personnel did not yield results.
Anyone with information on either case was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).
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