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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Valleywide

Governor Plans to Match Reward in Guard's Slaying

October 19, 1998|SCOTT GLOVER

Gov. Pete Wilson is expected today to add $25,000 to the reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the slaying of a Lancaster corrections officer earlier this year.

Elizabeth Begaren, a guard at Lancaster State Prison, was shot to death Jan. 17 in front of her husband and stepdaughter on an Anaheim freeway onramp.

Her husband, Nuzzio Begaren, told authorities that they were forced off the road by men in a dark Oldsmobile that had been following them. He said the men robbed them of $4,800 and shot his wife when they saw her badge.

Anaheim police, however, have expressed skepticism about Nuzzio Begaren's account and have not ruled him out as a suspect in the killing. Begaren took out a $1-million life insurance policy on his wife in the months before she was killed, police and family members have said.

The $25,000 reward, planned to be announced at a news conference at the Anaheim Police Department, will match an earlier reward put up by the state Department of Corrections, said Ron Low, a spokesman for Wilson.

"We hope this will generate some new leads and bring some people forward," Low said. "Right now, everything has dried up."

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