Detectives believe the unsolved murders of two young Eastside women, 22-year-old Bree'Anna Guzman and 17-year-old Michelle Lozano, are connected, an L.A. city official told L.A. Weekly today.
A 9 a.m. news conference has been scheduled tomorrow outside LAPD headquarters downtown. Detectives and the office of Eastside City Councilman Gil Cedillo plan to announce that a $50,000 reward will be offered in the case of each victim, for information leading to capture and conviction of the killer or killers.
Police originally wanted to roll both rewards into one, we were told:
The body of 22-year-old Lincoln Heights resident Bree'Anna Guzman was found next to the Glendale Freeway in Silver Lake in January 2012; she'd been reported missing the day after Christmas 2011. Her body was partially clothed, authorities said.
Police said she had walked to a drug store near her home to purchase cough medicine and never returned. Family members had launched a missing-person campaign to find Guzman in the weeks before her remains were discovered.
Just a few months later, in April 2011, the nude body of 17-year-old Michelle Lozano of Boyle Heights was found next to the 5 freeway not far from her home. Police said the body was in a container that appeared to have been dumped from a moving vehicle. She had reportedly been strangled.
"They [LAPD detectives] have some information that leads to the conclusion that they are linked," a city official told us.
We asked the coroner's office if both women had been strangled, but the staffer we talked to told us that a police security hold, which prevents investigators from disseminating information, had been placed on the files of both victims.
There are other unsolved "body dump" murders involving women both on the Eastside and around greater L.A. County, but so far there have been no links between these cases and those, the official said.
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And community rumors of abducted young women on the Eastside in 2012 turned out to be false, police said.
LAPD detectives, who are asking for the media's help in disseminating information about the rewards, had no further information for us today.