Authorities called on the public for help Monday in tracking down the man who kidnapped and killed a 3-week-old girl after shooting and wounding her parents and uncle in North Long Beach in Los Angeles County.
“We really, really need your help in helping us catch this coward, get him off the streets,” police Chief Robert Luna said. “We don’t want this person out, potentially committing another crime just like this.”
The body of Eliza Delacruz was found Sunday afternoon in a trash bin at a commercial strip mall in the 600 block of Palm Drive in Imperial Beach, according to Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman Marlene Arrona. San Diego County authorities said the body was found shortly before 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Long Beach police were notified of the discovery around 4:30 p.m., she said.
Detectives traveled to San Diego to confer with authorities and the San Diego Medical Examiner confirmed the deceased infant was the one who had been kidnapped.
Officers found the shooting victims after being dispatched in response to reports of gunfire about 5:50 p.m. Saturday, Arrona said. Investigators said they believe the gunman took the 10-pound infant from the home in the 100 block of West 51st Street after the shooting.
One of the shooting victims was treated and released, but the two others were hospitalized in critical condition.
“The suspect who committed these horrific crimes remains outstanding,” Arrona said. “No one has come forward with information.” The gunman was described only as having dark skin. Police have said they do not believe the attack was a random act, but they also said there is no known motive for the attack.
Luna said police were aggressively investigating, and hope to get a sketch of the suspect, but he said he believes somebody in the densely populate residential area must have seen something.
“Somebody somewhere saw what happened, and we need you to come forward,” he said. “And please remember, as we stand here as police officers, unfortunately we deal with tragedies, but nothing as horrendous as a child, a baby for that fact, being taken from her home and then being left in the trash dumpster. We really, really need your help.”
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected Tuesday to offer a $10,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case, Luna said.
He said even the smallest piece of information could lead to the suspect.
“If anything looked out of place or anything that just causes somebody to think this person may have been involved — maybe it was a getaway car … anything,” he said. “We need to start somewhere. Any small piece of information could be that part of the puzzle that we need to solve this case.”
Anyone with information about the case was urged to call Long Beach homicide detectives Donald Goodman and Mark Mattia at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips can be provided by calling Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS. Tips can also be sent via text message by sending “Tipla” plus the information to 274677. Information can also be provided at www.lacrimestoppers.org.
— City News Service