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$100,000 Offered for Tips in '93 Murders

City and county put up reward for clues in the deaths of a mother and her daughter.

August 14, 2004|Joy Buchanan | Times Staff Writer

One of the largest rewards in Los Angeles history -- $100,000 -- was offered Friday for information in the 11-year-old murder of a Huntington Park mother and daughter.

Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes announced that the city would offer $75,000, with an additional $25,000 from county Supervisor Gloria Molina's office, for information about the 1993 murder of Veronica Ultreras, a 22-year-old kindergarten teacher's aide, and her 3-year-old daughter, Cynthia.

The offer required a change in a Los Angeles city ordinance that capped rewards in homicide cases at $25,000. The council adopted an increase in April, and Reyes said it was the result of persistent lobbying by Ultreras' father, Luis Navarro of El Sereno.

Navarro made a tearful plea for help at a news conference Friday.

"Please help the police help me," Navarro asked. "Let me take this suffering off my back."

On Jan. 2, 1993, someone strangled Ultreras and her daughter in the family's Highland Park duplex at 848 N. Avenue 50, while her husband, Rodolfo "Rudy" Ultreras, was at work.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday August 17, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 26 words Type of Material: Correction
Ultreras slaying -- An article in Saturday's California section stated that slaying victim Veronica Ultreras was a resident of Huntington Park. She lived in Highland Park.

The killer set their Christmas tree on fire, LAPD officials said, leaving Ultreras unconscious in the burning living room. Cynthia's body was found submerged in the bathtub.

Det. Kent Anderson, who has led the investigation since the killings occurred, said a larger reward might encourage people with information to come forward.

"It's just one of those things my conscience won't let go," he said. "We owe it to Mr. Navarro and the community to solve this case."

Navarro, who works as a plumber, said he will not give up.

"I promised Veronica and Cynthia that I will stick with this until the criminal is behind bars," Navarro said.

The Los Angeles Police Department asked that anyone with information in the case call the 24-hour anonymous tip line at (877) 529-3855.

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