The L.A. County Board of Supervisors this week approved a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whomever murdered Long Beach newborn of Eliza Delacruz.
The 3-week-old's body was discovered in a dumpster outside a strip mall in the 600 block of Palm Drive in Imperial Beach over the weekend. That San Diego County community abuts the U.S.-Mexico border.
Her parents were shot and wounded and the baby was kidnapped in Long Beach on Saturday, police said.
While it might have appeared to be tragically personal, the motive for the horrific crime spree is a huge question mark.
The girl's father was treated at a hospital and released and the the mother and uncle were said to be in “critical but stable” condition. Despite the survival of key witnesses, cops indicate they haven't got a clue.
We reached out to a Long Beach police detective, but he said he couldn't speak about the case. If investigators know something, they're keeping it close to their chests.
“Unfortunately we just don't have a lot on this incident,” Long Beach police spokeswoman Nancy Pratt told us. “We stress the need for people with information on this to come forward.” (See how you can do that, below).
The issuance of rewards in such cases are usually signs that an investigation has hit a dead end.
Pratt said that investigators were working with the father to come up with a composite sketch of the suspect but that they were waiting for the other victims to sufficiently recover before completing the graphic.
It could be next week before we see a rendering of the alleged shooter, she said.
The initial attack was reported at 5:50 p.m. Saturday in the 100 block of West 51st Street in North Long Beach, according to a police statement.
Cops responding to a report of a shooting found three adult victims of gunshot wounds, the Long Beach department said:
The preliminary investigation leads detectives to believe an adult male suspect fled with the infant immediately after the shooting occurred … Little is known about the suspect. … No vehicle was seen leaving the location.
At 1:25 p.m. the next day San Diego County Sheriff's Department deputies say they were informed that a deceased baby had been found in that Imperial Beach dumpster, according to a statement from that department.
The manner of death was not revealed. An official at the Department of the Medical Examiner in San Diego County told us its information on the case was under seal at the behest of investigators.
Long Beach cops were informed of the find at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. “The San Diego Coroner's Office confirmed the deceased infant as Eliza Delacruz,” said the Long Beach Police Department.
Pratt said detectives were combing over security video in the area of the Imperial Beach discovery to determine if the suspect was caught on tape.
The kidnapper was described only as a dark-skinned man.
Asked if the location of the infant's body indicated the killer might have fled to Mexico, Pratt said, “That's certainly a possibility—one we haven't ruled out.”
Anyone with information on the case was asked to call Long Beach detectives at 562)-570-7244 or dial 1-800-222-8477.