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Homicide

help solve the murder of Diego Ortega-Reza 1024 682 SIB Staff

help solve the murder of Diego Ortega-Reza

Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Homicide Detectives and Family Members Plea to the Public for Information that will Help Solve the Murder of Diego Ortega-Reza

On Wednesday, October 20, 2021, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Homicide Bureau detectives held a press conference near the area where Diego Ortega-Reza was shot back in July of 2021.  Lieutenant Charles Calderaro announced a $15,000 reward in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for taking Diego’s life. The reward is sponsored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.

Diego was a shy, yet enthusiastic teenager who had just graduated from high school and was looking forward to going to college. Like most teenagers, he enjoyed gatherings with friends and family. His sweet nature and effervescence were obvious, and were characteristics which endeared him to his siblings and friends.

On July 5, 2021, at approximately 12:45 a.m., 18-year-old Diego was in the front passenger seat of a gray Toyota Sienna minivan. Diego, along with his younger brother and a friend were returning home from a 4th of July party. They were driving westbound on Cesar Chavez Avenue. As they approached the intersection of Cesar Chavez Avenue and Lorena Street, an unknown person fired gunshots at their vehicle. Tragically, Diego was struck by gunfire and sustained a fatal gunshot to the head. The driver of the vehicle, immediately drove to a nearby hospital and Diego was then transferred to a trauma center where he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. Diego died on July 10, 2021.

“I know somebody saw something. It was a very special day in this country. Somebody had to be outside, they saw, they heard something. Please help us. The entire family is devastated. My other son was a passenger and he is doing badly. He wanted to be here but he couldn’t. He can’t, he has taken it badly. Whoever did this has caused an immeasurable pain to us. My son was not a bad person, he had no tattoos, nothing,” said in Spanish Diego’s mom, Socorro Ortega. “Do not defund the police that help us, investigators, please do not take away funds. They’re crucial, there is not enough police on the streets,” she added.   

Sheriff Villanueva thanked the Board of Supervisors for approving the reward but noted that more is needed. “It takes investigators to solve these crimes, it takes patrol deputies to prevent them from happening, and it takes a lot of work in between. From 2019 to now, there has been an 87% increase in homicides while we’re being defunded, while we’re losing homicide investigators and we’re seeing a reduction in patrol deputies,” said Sheriff Villanueva.   

“I was moved to put forward this reward in an effort to call on residents to help us bring accountability to the murder of Diego,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “I encourage members of the public with information pertaining to this heinous crime to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau. What happened to Diego was tragic. The County will continue to make investments in community prevention strategies to address community trauma and violence. By working together across community and local government agencies, we can enhance the public safety of our communities,” said Supervisor Hilda Solis.

If you have information about Diego’s senseless murder, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or if you prefer to provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile App on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org/.

Detectives Seek Assistance in Locating Suspect Wanted for Murder 1024 768 SIB Staff

Detectives Seek Assistance in Locating Suspect Wanted for Murder

Detectives Seek Public’s Assistance in Locating Suspect Wanted for Murder

On Thursday, October 7, 2021, Homicide Bureau detectives held a press conference to ask for the public’s assistance in locating Joseph Dambra, who is wanted for shooting and killing a family member in the City of San Dimas. Dambra is a White, 62 year old, male, 5’10” and weighs 215 lbs.

On Wednesday, October 6, 2021, at approximately 7:02 p.m., Dambra drove to a family member’s residence located on the 200 block of Valley Center in the City of San Dimas, and shot and killed his brother Richard Dambra. After the shooting, he fled the location going southbound on Valley Center Drive and drove to another residence located on the 500 block of East Allen Avenue in the city of San Dimas an shot his brother’s unoccupied vehicle several times. After the second shooting, he fled the location in an unknown direction.  

Dambra was last seen traveling northbound on the 15 Freeway near the 210 Freeway driving a red and white Ducati motorcycle with a California license plate number 24T1111. Dambra is considered armed and dangerous. People should use extreme caution if they see him, do not approach. Instead, contact your local law enforcement authorities immediately.  

If you have information on his whereabouts, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau, Detective Blagg or Sergeant V. Choi at 323-890-5500.  If you prefer to provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile App on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org/.

Family members seek help for Estephan hernandez 1024 743 SIB Staff

Family members seek help for Estephan hernandez

On the 4th Anniversary of the Murder of honor student, Estephan Hernandez, Homicide detectives and family members seek public’s help

On Tuesday, September 28, 2021, Homicide Bureau detectives held a press conference in front of a makeshift memorial where Estephan Hernandez was murdered exactly four years ago. Lieutenant Brandon Dean announced a $10,000 reward in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for taking the life of Estephan. The reward is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Four years ago today, on Thursday evening, September 28, 2017, Estephan sat in his car, chatting with a female friend.  The car was parked in a residential neighborhood in the 1100 block of East 148th Street, Compton, and as the pair talked, unknown assailants in a passing black sedan shot several rounds at their car. The suspect vehicle fled the scene and drove westbound on East 148th Street, away from the victims and out of view.

“We’re now in his fourth anniversary. We do this every year to remember our son. Please, if anyone knows something, speak up. Don’t stay quiet so that no mother endures what I’ve been suffering every day of my life,” said Estephan’s mom, Lydia Gonzales, in Spanish.


At the time of his death, Estephan was a 21-year-old honor roll student at Cal State University, Long Beach, pursuing a degree in Sociology.  He was a compassionate person who wanted to see his contemporaries succeed, and devoted much of his time to mentor other minority students.  With great ambition and a passion to help others, Estephan would undoubtedly have made a difference in his community and in people’s lives but his life was senselessly cut short.

It is unknown if Estephan was targeted or if it was a random act, but what is known is that he had no ties to any gang. “He was a great individual, good student. He wanted to be a counselor. Another thing he did was, he was a group mentor for incoming students in the college,” said Lieutenant Dean. If you have information about this senseless murder, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or if you prefer to provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile App on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org/.

Press Conference Video

Shooting Investigation 398 223 SIB Staff

Shooting Investigation

SHOOTING INVESTIGATION

Los Angeles County Sheriff Homicide Investigators continue their investigation into the shooting death of a woman in Carson.

Today, January 17, 2020, at 12:18 PM, deputies from Carson Sheriff’s Station responded to a home in the 18800 block of Crocker Avenue in the city of Carson regarding a call of a gunshot victim.

Upon arriving, deputies made entry into a home and discovered a woman inside suffering what appeared to be gunshot wounds. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim is described as a woman of unknown race believed to be in her mid twenties.

There is no suspect description and the murder weapon is outstanding.

There is no further information at this time.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.  If you wish to remain anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), using your smartphone by downloading the “P3 MOBILE APP” on Google play or the App Store, or using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

Forwarded by:
Deputy James Nagao
Sheriff’s Information Bureau – Newsroom
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Hall of Justice – First floor 
211 W. Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

LASD Sheriff's Department Logo
Double Homicide – Carson 600 128 SIB Staff

Double Homicide – Carson

Suspects Sought in Murder of Two Young Women Sitting In A Vehicle In Carson; Family Asks For Public To Help Find Killers; Detectives to Announce $30K Reward

Detectives are searching for the suspects involved in the shooting deaths of 19 year-old Erin Lavender and 17-year-old Dalelaja Hearn that occurred on Sunday, December 15, 2019, in Carson.

That evening, at approximately 8:50 p.m., Erin and Dalelaja, along with three other individuals, were sitting in a vehicle that was parked outside of a residence at the 20300 block of Alvo Avenue, in the city of Carson.

As Erin and Dalelaja were seated in the front of the vehicle, two suspects who wore hooded sweatshirts, were seen on video surveillance walk towards their vehicle. One of the suspects directly approached the front driver side of the vehicle, and fired several shots aimlessly into the vehicle.

Immediately after the shooting, both of the suspects ran southbound on Alvo Avenue, towards Del Amo Boulevard and out of view. While the suspects were running away from the scene, a light colored sports utility vehicle is captured on video surveillance driving in the same direction passed the suspects. Detectives are asking the occupants of that vehicle to contact investigators with any information that they may have seen or can provide, to help shed light on the circumstances of this heinous incident.

Right after the shooting occurred, one of the individuals in the vehicle with Erin and Dalelaja, saw that they had both been struck by gunfire, and drove them to a local hospital. Both Erin and Dalelaja were struck in the upper torso, and unfortunately succumbed to their injuries a short time later.

Today, Wednesday, January 15, 2020, Sheriff Villanueva and Homicide Bureau Detectives announced a combined $30,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Erin and Dalelaja’s murders.    

During the press conference, Sheriff Villanueva asked the public for their assistance in helping to locate those responsible, and said, “It is always tragic when a life is loss, but when two young ladies lose their lives, it is extremely heartbreaking. These ladies were just beginning their lives, and we need the public’s help to locate those responsible.”

Mayor Albert Robles, from the City of Carson, also pleaded to the public for their help with any information about this case, stating “It touches every single human being to think, what happened here? This senseless killing. I know there is someone out there that knows something about this. We are begging you to do the right thing. Come forward. Share what information you know.”

A reward of $10,000 has been sponsored by Supervisor Mark Ridley- Thomas, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Second District. Along with a second reward of $20,000 from the City of Carson and approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, has been graciously offered in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting death of both victims.

Incidentally, Erin and Dalelaja were in the area attending a vigil for a mutual friend of theirs, who had just passed away.  

At the time of her death, Erin Lavender was only 19 years-old. She was just beginning her life and was a student attending a local college and an avid softball.

Dalelaja Hearn was only 17 years-old at the time of her death. She was a high school student in Central California, and was also an avid softball player.

Both Erin and Dalelaja grew up surrounded by their loving family members, and will be missed dearly.  Anyone with information about the murders of Erin Lavender and Dalelaja Hearn are encouraged to call 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.