$80K reward offered to help solve three East LA cold cases

Los Angeles County is offering an $80,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects involved in three unsolved murders in East Los Angeles. 

The murders happened between 2014 and 2018, all within two miles of each other, according to LASD Homicide Captain Joe Mendoza.

Jesse Avalos: 2014

The first murder happened February 10, 2014. According to detectives, the victim, Jesse Avalos, received a phone call from a friend around 10:50 p.m. the night before asking for help to jump start a vehicle. Within 15 minutes Avalos traveled to the intersection of Telegraph Rd. and Arizona Ave. to help his friend. Around 3:25 a.m., LASD received a call about an injured person. When officers arrived on scene they located Avalos in the driver seat of his blue SUV suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. According to Mendoza, two suspects were seen fleeing the area. 

Eduardo Robles: 2015

The second murder happened July 6, 2015. Mendoza says the victim, Eduardo Robles, got into a physical altercation with a suspect in the driveway of an East LA home. Robles was visiting 15 to 20 people at the house when the fight occurred. According to Mendoza, the suspect jumped over a fence, walked to Robles’ car and punctured all four of his tires with a sharp object. The suspect then left the area. About five minutes later, the suspect returned to the house and shot Robles multiple times. The suspect then entered a light green vehicle and fled eastbound on Eagle Street, Mendoza stated during a press conference Wednesday.

Amanda Nikki Lopez: 2018 

The third murder happened April 22, 2018.  According to Mendoza, a silver PT Cruiser drove into the Civic Center near the East LA courthouse around 2:40 a.m. A suspect got out of the car and began searching homeless encampments for Nikki. The suspect eventually found Nikki sleeping inside a tent and fired one round from his gun, ultimately killing her. The suspect then ran back to the PT Cruiser and drove away westbound on 3rd Street. Mendoza said the suspects wore all black and had masks on, but once the shooter returned to the vehicle he removed his mask, allowing his face to show.

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The suspects in all three cases are still outstanding. According to Mendoza, the first and second murders were linked through ballistics. And the suspect in the second murder is possibly the driver in the third murder, Mendoza stated. 

Composite drawings were released Wednesday of the two men, as was security video from the crime

The gunman was described as being in his late 20s, 5-feet-8 inches tall, with a medium build and short hair. The driver was described as being in his mid- to late 40s, 5-feet-8 inches to 5-feet-9 inches tall, with a heavyset build and a possible mustache. 

The sheriff’s department is asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects, an $80,000 reward is being offered to anyone who leads law enforcement to the arrest and conviction of a suspect. 
Anyone with information is urged to contact Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

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