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Cold case reward: $75k offered for information in 2016 murder of 4-year-old Monrovia boy

$75k offered for information in 2016 murder of 4-year-old Monrovia boy
$75k offered for information in 2016 murder of 4-year-old Monrovia boy 02:20

County officials have increased the reward offered for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for murdering a four-year-old Monrovia boy back in 2016.

The reward, now upped to $75,000, was part of a successful motion introduced by Supervisor Kathryn Barger on Wednesday. 

This is the fourth time that the reward has been increased for the six-year-old cold case, in which Salvador "Chavita" Esparza III, was gunned down during a gang-related shooting on July 5, 2016, when he stood in the doorway of an Altadena home. 

"Six years ago, little Salvador's life was violently and tragically ended," Barger said. "I am extending and increasing the reward amount because I have faith that there's someone out there who can help bring justice for the Esparza family. Every bit of information helps, so don't hesitate to reach out. Help us identify the perpetrator who robbed Salvador of his future and left an unfillable void in his family's heart."

In the past, investigators have said that the shooting stemmed from an argument involving the boyfriend of Esparza's mother and an unidentified man. An hour later, someone opened fire on the home, striking the child and a 27-year-old man, unrelated to the family. They say that the boyfriend and his brother were the intended targets of the shooting. 

The initial reward, worth $20,000, was offered just a month after the shooting first happened. It was increased to $25,000 in February 2021 and again jumped to $50,000 in 2022

As the search for the killer continues, Esparza's grandmother issues another emotional plea, demanding justice for the death of her beloved grandson. 

"This is a child. This is an innocent baby. We want justice. We want peace," Jenny Esparza said. "I don't want to sit here and say, 'You did it. You intentionally did it.' Because I know he didn't. But, I want him to come forward."

Until the day that justice is finally served, Jenny says she won't give up. 

"That's one thing I'm not gonna do," she said. "Even if it takes me years fighting for him, I promised him on his gravesite that I was not gonna give up."

The case is being investigated by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Anyone with information was asked to contact investigators at (323) 890-5500.

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