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$50K Reward Offered In Unsolved Murder Of Jason Cortez, Who Was Shot In The Back While Hiking In Montecito Heights

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A $50,000 reward was offered Friday for information about a killer who shot a hiker in the back at Ernest E. Debs Regional Park in Montecito Heights.

Jason Cortez Community Alert - $50,000 Award
(credit: LAPD)

LAPD detectives say 29-year-old Jason Cortez was hiking at the park on Sept. 10 when he was shot in the back. Paramedics rushed to the park to help him, but Cortez died of his injuries on the trail, police said.

One witness was able to describe a man he saw in the bushes holding a rifle enough for police to create a composite sketch, but no other evidence has been found at the park and no other witnesses have come forward.

His widow, Corina Solarzano, said Cortez loved his family so much, he gave her a puppy even though he was afraid of dogs and insisted on tucking their daughter into bed every night so they could both give her a good-night kiss.

"Now I have to tuck her in alone and give her two kisses – one for me, and one from Jason," she said tearfully. "That's just one of the many things I have to do alone now."

The suspect, who was last seen northbound on Debs Park's trails, was described as a Hispanic man between 20 and 30 years old, between 5-foot-10 and 5-foot-11, wearing a blue hooded sweater.

Anyone with information about this murder can contact LAPD Detective Abundis at (213) 386-8700.

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