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Man Is Sought in Murder Probe

Police say he was seen shopping with a restaurateur who was found slain.

March 15, 2003|Jose Cardenas | Times Staff Writer

Police are seeking the public's help in finding a man seen shopping with a popular Montebello restaurant owner who was later found bludgeoned to death in his home.

Hours before he was killed, Salvatore De Lorenzo, 67, known as a kind Italian immigrant who often extended his hand to those in need, may have been shopping for the modestly dressed man seen in a store's security video.

The man, whom police did not call a suspect, is "someone we would like to speak with," said Det. Robert Carcano of the Montebello Police Department.

Police described the man as a Latino, about 25 years old. He is about 5-feet-8 and of average build. He has thick, wiry, parted hair and a round, cleanshaven face.

The man may be a Mexican citizen, according to police.

On Feb. 12, police responded to a call about an illegally parked vehicle near De Lorenzo's home on Alfred Place in Montebello. The vehicle was registered to De Lorenzo. Officers discovered his body in his house.

Police believe a man seen near the crime scene is the same one who was seen with De Lorenzo at a Target department store and a T-shirt shop on Whittier Boulevard in the City of Commerce.

Through interviews, it was determined that De Lorenzo knew the man, possibly through his restaurant, Carcano said.

De Lorenzo was known to help out employees who needed a hand. "He was an immigrant. He always opened his arms to helping people," said his son, Anthony De Lorenzo. "My father didn't deserve this."

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