Homicide Detectives and Victim’s mother ask for the Public’s Help in Solving the Murder of 16-year-old Danah Rojo-Rivas; $20,000 Reward Offered
On Wednesday, November 23, 2016, a mother was driving her two children home from a church function when suddenly, their lives changed forever. 16-year-old Danah Rojo-Rivas was shot to death.
Danah was the backseat passenger in a car driven by her mother. Her brother Ethan sat in the front passenger seat. The family was heading home from a church function the day before Thanksgiving. As they traveled through the city of Lynwood, they waited for the light to turn green on Euclid Avenue at the intersection with Long Beach Boulevard. The family was unaware of a car chase happening right behind them.
The intended targets of the shooting were being chased by a light-colored 4-door sedan occupied by three people. One of the intended targets exited his vehicle and ran behind the Rojo-Rivas car to avoid being hit by bullets. As the intended target ran, the shooter tracked him with a succession of gunfire from a handgun, and a bullet entered the Rojo-Rivas car, striking Danah in the upper torso and fatally wounding her.
Danah loved sports and animals –especially dogs. She played softball and was working toward becoming a volunteer at an animal shelter. At the shooting, Danah’s dog “Luna” was with her in the car. In the confusion after the shooting, when the door was opened to pull Danah from the vehicle, the frightened dog ran out and was hit and killed by a passing car, adding heartache to heartbreak for the grieving family.
On Thursday, June 2, 2022, Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and Danah’s mother made a plea to the public to come forward and help identify the suspect who killed Danah.
“I’m a single mom. My son and my daughter were always with me all the time. My hands were always busy with the hands of my little kids. When that happened that night, and we were taken to the police station, my sister picked me up at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, and I was in denial. And when I went out, I was holding my son’s hand and my other hand… I didn’t have my daughter in my other hand, I realized that it was true. Since then, my hand always feels empty, ‘cause she is not here,” said a sobbing Sandra Rivas, Danah’s mother.
To encourage witnesses to come forward, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors extended the $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for Danah’s death. The reward is sponsored by 4th District LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn. Unfortunately, Supervisor Hahn was not able to attend the press conference but sent a message to the community: “Danah’s family is still heartbroken and looking for answers. If you know anything about this terrible crime and who may be responsible for Danah’s death, I urge you to come forward.”
There were many witnesses to this murder, and some have come forward. Investigators have enhanced some surveillance video and have determined specific features that match witness and anonymous tipster’s statements.
Investigators also received information from an anonymous tipster who witnessed the shooting up close. Detectives are asking that person to contact Homicide investigators for a follow up interview. Investigators also believe there were other possibly related shootings in the area before and after Danah’s murder.
If you have information about this case, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may call “L.A. Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 MOBILE APP” on Google Play or the App Store or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.