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Calif. police seek help in probe of family shooting, baby’s death

Posted at 2:26 PM, Jan 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-06 14:26:05-05

Three-week-old Eliza Delacruz (SOURCE: KTLA)

LOS ANGELES — Police in California are pleading for help from the public in the investigation into the shooting of three people and the death of a baby who was later found in a dumpster.

Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna admits that investigators do not have enough information to answer the key questions in the case, but are confident that witnesses can fill in the gaps.

Three-week-old Eliza Delacruz was abducted from a home in Long Beach on Saturday night after her mother, father and uncle were shot. The baby’s body was found the next day, more than 100 miles away, in a strip mall dumpster in Imperial Beach.

“We need to get the coward who committed this violent, senseless act off the street,” Luna said at a news conference Monday. “Somebody, somewhere, saw what happened, and we need you to come forward.”

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors was expected to announce on Tuesday a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects, Luna said.

One county supervisor, Don Knabe, pledged to seek a higher reward of $25,000 when making a motion before the board Tuesday, he said on Twitter.

Police are working the leads they have, Luna said. They are interviewing family members and neighbors, and reviewing surveillance footage from the strip mall where Eliza’s body was found.

But, he added, investigators need help.

“As we stand here as police officers, unfortunately we deal with tragedies, but nothing as horrendous as a child — a baby for that fact — being taken from her home and then be left in the trash dumpster,” he said. “We really, really need your help.”

Authorities told CNN that the attacker may have known the family.

A transient searching for recyclables found the dead baby in the dumpster and alerted the owner of a business, CNN affiliate KGTV reported.

Meanwhile, two of the shooting victims remain in critical condition at an area hospital, police said, and a third has been treated and released.