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Reward Offered for Leads in Slaying

November 13, 2002|Kenneth Reich | Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles police homicide investigators announced a $25,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the 2001 slaying of a 16-year-old girl who was nine months' pregnant.

The slaying of Wendy Cortez is believed to be gang-related, although Det. Fred Faustino said Cortez was not a gang member.

Cortez was shot in front of a friend's home in the 2700 block of Hyans Street in Echo Park, and gave birth to a son who was two weeks premature.

The boy died nine days later of wounds from the shooting.

Her mother and other family members, including her 2-year-old son, gathered Tuesday in front of Rampart Division headquarters for the announcement.

"I wouldn't want anyone to go through what we have in the past year. Somebody's still out there who did this, and we are asking anyone who knows anything about what happened to help the investigators," her brother Willie Cortez said.

Faustino asked that anyone with any information about the killings call LAPD detectives at (213) 207-2051 during business hours or a toll-free 24-hour number, (877) 529-3855.

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