The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday offered or renewed rewards for information leading to arrests and convictions in the shooting of a USC student in an apparent robbery attempt, the hit-and-run killing of a San Pedro bicyclist and the 2015 disappearance of young Littlerock mother, who is presumed dead.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recommended a $25,000 reward in exchange for information on three suspects in the killing of 21-year-old Victor McElhaney in the parking lot of a liquor store at 255 E. Adams Blvd., about a mile from the USC campus, just after midnight on March 10.
“The suspects acted in an extremely heinous and brazen manner, with complete disregard for the value of human life,” Ridley-Thomas said in his motion.
Earlier in the day, the Los Angeles City Council approved a $50,000 reward for information that helps detectives solve the case.
McElhaney was leaving the store with a group of friends when a dark-colored, four-door sedan stopped and blocked the sidewalk and three men, two of them armed with handguns, got out and asked the group where they were from. One of the men then punched two of McElhaney’s friends in the face while a second man tried to grab one friend’s handbag.
When a third suspect got angry and yelled, “Shoot him!,” one of the armed men shot McElhaney in the head, according to detectives. The trio got back in the car and sped westbound.
McElhaney was a student at USC’s Thornton School of Music and the son of Oakland City Council member Lynette Gibson McElhaney, who said he had been drumming before he could walk or talk.
“He believed that music could heal the world of violence and sickness and addiction,” the councilwoman said days after his death. “And his desire to bring music medicine, that’s what he called it, to the world brought him to Los Angeles, the city of angels.”
McElhaney — who transferred to USC in 2017 — was part of the USC Jazz studies program with an interest in the relationship between music and social and political movements. He also mentored young musicians and taught at the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music.
Anyone with more information on the shooting was asked to call Los Angeles police homicide Detective Grace Thornton at 213-486-6890.
Supervisor Janice Hahn asked her colleagues to extend a $25,000 reward in the hit-and-run killing of 24-year-old Cole Micek on the Terminal Island (74) Freeway on March 3, 2018. The reward, set to expire Friday, will now be available for at least another 90 days.
Micek was riding his bike near Pier A Way when he was struck by two vehicles whose drivers failed to call 911 and fled before police arrived around 3 a.m.
Investigators released images of a late-model white Toyota Camry and a 1990s-era Honda Accord with a sunroof and dark hood, which they believe may have been involved in the collision.
Anyone with information on the hit-and-run drivers was urged to call Long Beach police Detective Sirilo Garcia at 562-570-7132.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger recommended reinstating a $20,000 reward for information on the suspicious disappearance of 28-year-old Monique Figueroa, who was last seen driving away from her Littlerock home in the 7200 block of East Avenue U-12 around 4 a.m. on May 19, 2015.
Figueroa’s car, a 2004 burgundy Mercedes-Benz, was recovered 11 days later in an abandoned shed in Juniper Hills. There was no sign of the woman, but authorities said there were signs of foul play inside the car.
Figueroa 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.
Barger said in her motion that detectives believe reinstating the reward might encourage witnesses to come forward with information that could help provide closure for her family.
Anyone with information on the missing woman 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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