The office of city Councilman Gil Cedillo recently announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person who killed a homeless woman in Koreatown in February.
The murder of 62-year-old Irma Cuevas was the third in or very near the Greater Wilshire area since 2014. No connections have been made between the killings, but police haven't ruled out the possibility they could be related, Los Angeles Police Department Detective Rolando Rodriguez says: "We never close those avenues, because you never know."
All three women were fatally stabbed, according to police. All but one was in the LAPD's Olympic Division area. On Dec. 22, 2014, 86-year-old Antonia Maria Yager, widow of late Superior Court Judge Thomas C. Yager, was found dead in her home in the 100 block of North Beachwood Drive, which is just a block from the Olympic Division's western boundary. There's a $50,000 reward for her case as well. "In Ms. Yager's case it appeared someone broke in maybe to burglarize the residence and maybe she surprised him," Rodriguez says.
A few months later, on Feb. 28, 2015, the body of 41-year-old homeless woman Najat Pennell was found at a bus bench on Wilshire Boulevard and Norton Avenue in Windsor Square, about 10 blocks south of where Yager was killed, cops said. "Paramedics believed Ms. Pennell had been dead for hours before being discovered by citizens," according to an LAPD statement.
Then, at 10:20 a.m. on Feb. 19, homeless woman Irma Cuevas, 62, was found stabbed to death in the 2600 block of West Olympic Boulevard in Koreatown, police said. "The Police Department (LAPD) received a call about a person lying motionless on the sidewalk," according to a statement from Cedillo's office.
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In Cuevas' case detectives want to speak to a "person of interest" described as an African-American man who might walk with a limp. Security video (below) captured the man riding a bike through a gas station at Olympic and Vermont Avenue.
Anyone with information regarding any of the cases above can call LAPD West Bureau detectives at (213) 382- 9470.