Detectives offer $30K reward, hope new DNA technology will help solve 1997 Thousand Oaks cold murder case

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation has offered a $30,000 reward for information that leads to suspects in a killing during a Thousand Oaks bank robbery 24 years ago.

Two men dressed as construction workers held up Western Financial Bank in Thousand Oaks on April 28, 1997.

While handcuffing bank teller Monica Leech, one of the robbers shot her in the back of the head. The 39-year-old Camarillo resident died at the scene.

The suspects drove away in a 1994 Ford Explorer, but crashed nearby. They escaped on foot but the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office recovered the vehicle.

Investigators have in recent years been able to use traces of DNA left on the handcuffs and other evidence from the scene to create new DNA profiles for the suspects. However, investigators said more information is to determine the suspects in the murder, the Ventura County Star reported Wednesday.

“We know the men responsible for this crime are still out there,” Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said in a statement this week. “There are people close to them who know exactly what they did, and the right piece of information can be the break we need in this case.”

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