A $100,000 reward originally intended to go toward the capture and conviction of an alleged spree killer now will go toward finding the murderer of a mother and daughter stabbed in Nuevo.
Maria Gonzalez, 51, and her daughter, 25-year-old Connie Gonzalez were stabbed— apparently randomly— in an attack by a man on a bicycle.
The women were attacked while walking in the 29000 block of Central
Street, near Ramona Avenue Feb. 4; A lone assailant stabbed the victims several times, then fled the scene, sheriff's officials said.
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday approved the expenditure at the request of Supervisor Marion Ashley.
"Right now, we are at a point where it will be helpful to offer a reward,'' said Supervisor Marion Ashley, whose Fifth District encompasses not only the Banning and Beaumont areas, but the unincorporated community of Nuevo, where he grew up.
The Board of Supervisors took up the matter during a previously scheduled discussion about adding to a $1 million reward posted by the city of Los Angeles for the apprehension of Christopher Jordan Dorner, the rogue ex- LAPD officer suspected of killing four people, including Riverside police Officer Michael Daniel Crain, a Beaumont resident.
Because Dorner is presumed to have died Tuesday following a shootout at
a cabin near Big Bear, the issue was moot.
Ashley instead raised the prospect of using the money as an incentive to identify the man suspected in the slayings.
A motive for the attack remains unclear. Connie Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the scene. Her mother succumbed to her injuries at Menifee Valley Medical Center less than an hour later.
A community uproar followed the double homicide, leading Ashley to convene a town hall meeting Thursday attended by more than 500 residents who expressed their concerns.
The sheriff's department has since increased patrols in the area, where authorities have acknowledged a spike in crime over the last year.
Supervisor Jeff Stone last week suggested a correlation between the increase in criminal activity and Gov. Jerry Brown's 2011 realignment legislation, which included making counties responsible for supervising many parolees previously handled by the state.
The suspect in the two murders is described as a Latino, 17 to 25 years old, 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8, with a medium build and very short black hair.
He was wearing a gray hoodie-style jacket and dark-colored jeans. Witnesses said the man ran west on Central toward Menifee Road, where he possibly turned south.
Anyone with information about his identity or whereabouts was urged to call the sheriff's Hemet station at (951) 791-3405, or the Central Homicide Unit at (760) 393-3531.
--City News Service contributed to this report.