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Reward Is Renewed in 1995 Slaying

Crime: Detectives hope $25,000 offer will lead to those responsible for the death of Jyotsna Prajapati.


VAN NUYS — At the request of homicide detectives, City Councilman Joel Wachs announced the renewal of a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the 1995 killing of Jyotsna Prajapati.

Prajapati, a 29-year-old native of India, was shot in the head as she tried to stop two men from stealing a 12-pack of beer from the grocery store she owned with her husband, Kamlesh.

Her daughter, Atithi, now 6, was asleep behind the counter at the time of the murder.

At a Thursday morning news conference in front of Kamlesh Prajapati's store, Top Produce Market on Van Nuys Boulevard, he pleaded for anyone with information about his wife's killing to come forward.

"If anybody knows personally who killed my wife, please help us," he said.

On the day of the slaying, Kamlesh Prajapati said he had left the store to run errands an hour before his wife was shot. He returned to find homicide detectives investigating her death.

One assailant is described as Latino, 22 to 24 years old, 5 feet 9 to 5 feet 10, 175 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He may have a gold front tooth and tattoo on his upper back. The other is also described as Latino, 17 to 18 years old, 5 feet 6, about 120 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

"These are people who have no heart and no value for human life, and they could easily kill again," Wachs said. "They have to know they'll be hunted down and brought to justice."

Anyone with information is urged to call Van Nuys homicide detectives at (818) 756-8377 or after hours at (213) 485-2504.

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