The murders of at least two women in Northeast Los Angeles in 2011 appear to be the work of the same killer, and rewards totaling $100,000 have been extended in an effort to renew public interest, law enforcement officials told KFI NEWS this week.
A senior LAPD official familiar with the case who was not authorized to speak publicly stopped short of describing the murderer as a serial killer.
The LAPD had promised to provide a statement this week but none materialized.
The first murder was discovered in April, 2011, when the body of 17-year-old Michelle Lozano was found inside a plastic container dumped along the I-5 freeway near the I-10 and Cesar Chavez Blvd.
The second was unearthed in January, 2012, when the remains of 22-year-old Bree’ana Guzman were found partially buried along a transition road between the I-5 and the Glendale Freeway.
Guzman had vanished a month earlier after she told family members she was going to walk to a drugstore to buy cold medicine.
“I do believe that young women are targeted right now,” Guzman’s mother, Darlene Duran, told reporters in the days after the discovery.
Both victims had a similar appearance, they were close in age, and lived in the same neighborhood. Both vanished while walking alone.
The LAPD had sought to downplay fears, posting on its Facebook page in 2012: “At this point it's simply much too early to see patterns suggesting that type of behavior. Rest assured that the LAPD has its top-notch Robbery-Homicide Detectives working the case and they are exploring all possibilities.”
Detectives plan to make an announcement to the public next Wednesday.
The City Council renewed $50,000 rewards for information in each case Friday.
-- Eric Leonard (@LeonardFiles)