Authorities issued a desperate plea as they offered a $40,000 reward for information into the close-range fatal shooting of a Long Beach mother and her 4-year-old daughter that police say has "baffled" them.
“We really need your help to solve this case," Long Beach Police Department Chief Robert Luna said at a 1 p.m. news conference, stating he hoped the reward -- which jointly came from the City Council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors -- would prompt witnesses to come forward.
The chief spoke four days after police revealed that they had received just three calls about the Saturday night shooting of 26-year-old Carina Mancera and her daughter, Jennabel Anaya.
“What makes this incident so devastating to our community is that involved a mother and a young child," he said.
Police have teams of investigators working round the clock to solve the case, but they have received little information from the public, according to the chief.
"Few have come forward with information, and we as a community are better than this," Luna said. "Somebody out there saw something. Somebody out there has information ... we need you to come forward."
The mother and daughter were gunned down around 10:20 p.m. near East Ninth Street and Locust Avenue as they were returning home from the grocery store. The killer opened fire on the pair at close range before shooting at 27-year-old Luis Anaya, Mancera's longtime boyfriend and the little girl’s father, police Sgt. Robert Woods said Monday.
He called the shooting "very brutal."
Mancera, who sustained multiple gunshot wounds, died at the scene. Her daughter was pronounced dead early the following morning at a hospital.
Anaya was uninjured.
He told the Los Angeles Times that he briefly locked eyes with the gunman, but couldn’t recognize him because the shooter’s face was covered up.
The family had no known enemies, according to friends. Woods stated there was no indication of any gang ties.
“Our victim is a true victim. ... It is a whodunit,” the sergeant said. “This one baffles me. I’ve been doing it for a little while, and it baffles me.”
Police are urging the public to come forward with any information about the case; tipsters can contact them anonymously if they wish.
“We need to hear from you," Luna said. "Please, we really need to hear from you.”
Anyone with info is urged to call homicide Detectives Scott Lasch and Michael Hubbard at 562-570-7244. Anonymous tips can be left by calling 800-222-8477, texting “TIPLA” plus the tip to 274637, or via the website lacrimestoppers.org.