NORWALK >> Deputies and concerned family members asked the public’s help Friday in finding a young disabled couple from Norwalk who disappeared Wednesday.
Daniel Marquez, 21, and Destinee Rivera, 19, were last seen Wednesday morning and Wednesday night, respectively, Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. Marquez was last seen about 6 a.m. in the 13400 block of Flatbush Avenue, while Rivera was last seen about 10:30 p.m. in the 12300 block of Studebaker Road.
“Daniel and Destinee are in a dating relationship and are believed to be together,” Rouzan said. “Their families have not seen or heard from them and are seeking the public’s help in locating them.”
Marquez is 4 feet 5 inches tall, 100 pounds, with brown eyes black hair in a “Mohawk” style. He has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.
Rivera is 5 feet 3 inches tall, 170 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair with red highlights. She was last seen wearing blue pants and black Vans shoes. She is believed to have a learning disability.
Anyone with information about the missing couple is urged to contact Sgt. Nunez or Detective Abraham at the sheriff’s Missing Persons Detail at 323-890-5500.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
A drive-by shooting in Norwalk on Wednesday afternoon left a man wounded, authorities said.
The gunfire was reported about 2:35 p.m. at Pioneer Boulevard and 163rd Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robin Limon said.
Two men, both men in their 30s with suspected gang ties, were walking down the street when an attacker passed by in a white Dodge Caliber, Limon said.
Without uttering a word, the driver opened fire with a handgun, striking one of the victims in the leg, according to the lieutenant. The second victim escaped injury.
Deputies initially described the suspect as a Latino man in his 30s with black hair and tattoos on his neck. He was armed with a semi-automatic pistol.
Limon said the gunman was last seen driving south on Pioneer Blvd., toward the 91 Freeway.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
NORWALK >> A trio of women pepper sprayed a Norwalk shoe store employee while stealing footwear on Sunday afternoon, official said.
The crime took place shortly before 5 p.m. at Warehouse Shoe Sale, 11820 Firestone Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Cunningham said.
Three women placed shoes in their purses and went to leave the store without paying for them, the sergeant said.
A store employee confronted the woman at the door and asked to look inside their purses, he said.
One of the women pulled out a canister of pepper spray and sprayed the employee with it, according to Cunningham.
The three women then fled in a gray Toyota Camry, according to sheriff’s radio traffic.
Officials declined to release a detailed suspect description as they continued pursuing leads late Sunday, Cunningham said.
Sunday’s robbery was just the latest in series of recent robberies in which pepper spray or other devices intended for self-defense have been used as weapons.
•A woman was pepper sprayed and robbed of her wallet outside an Arcadia business on March 17.
•A group of teen girls are accused of spraying a man with pepper spray in order to rob him of his iPhone in Covina on May 7.
•Two women pepper sprayed a security guard while stealing purses from a Monrovia store on June 23.
•Three women used a stun gun on security guards who confronted them for stealing at two stores in Temple City and Arcadia on July 13.
Pepper spray, as well as stun guns, can be purchased legally by adults who are not otherwise prohibited from possessing weapons due to prior criminal convictions. They are legal to possess for lawful self-defense purposes, but it’s a crime under California law, punishable as a felony, to misuse such devices.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
NORWALK >> A man has begun serving a sentence of more than half a century in prison for gunning down his girlfriend’s brother with a rifle in 2015 at the Norwalk home hey all shared.
A Norwalk Superior Court jury convicted Jose Ramos Nunez, 46, of murder in late June, Los Angeles County Superior Court records show.
At his sentencing hearing on Thursday, a judge sentenced Nunez to 50 years to life in state prison, records show.
The charge stemmed from the Aug. 1, 2015, slaying of Joe Nava, 44, in the 11400 block of Lindale Street.
Deputies first responded to a report of a family disturbance when they found Nava suffering from gunshot wounds, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jack Jordan said at the time.
Investigators seized a rifle at the scene and took Nunez into custody for questioning, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez.
Two days later, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials filed a murder charge against Nunez.
A motive in the slaying has not been released.
A former international fugitive will spend the rest of his life in prison for stabbing a 50-year-old disabled neighbor to death inside her Pico Rivera home in 2012, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Luis Fernando Diofron, also known as Luis Fernando Diofron Lemus, 25, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Aug. 10, 2012 slaying of Denise Battey at her home in the 11900 block of Allard Street, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement.
He pleaded guilty to one count of murder on June 29. He also admitted to the special circumstance that the murder was done during the commission of a burglary, as well as the special allegation that he personally used a knife in the slaying.
“Lemus broke into his neighbor’s Norwalk home and fatally stabbed the 50-year-old woman,” Ardalani said.
Diofron was also initially accused of murder during the coarse of a rape, but the rape allegation was dismissed under a negotiated plea arrangement, officials said.
The killer, a Guatemalan national, was in the United States on a work visa and living next door to Battey at the time of the slaying, sheriff’s officials said.
He attacked her as she watered here garden, then dragged her inside her home where he stabbed her to death, according to investigators.
Diofron then fled to Guatemala, where he remained for two years before being captured in late-2014 and extradited back to California to face justice.
Battey worked for the U.S. Social Security Administration and tutored students on college preparation in her spare time, family members said. A recent back surgery, as well as severe sciatica in one of her legs, left her defenseless.
PHOTOS: Convicted murderer Luis Fernando Diofron, also known as Luis Fernando Diofron Lemus, 25, (left) and victim Denise Battey, 50, of Norwalk (right). [Courtesy]
NORWALK >> A former international fugitive admitted on Thursday breaking into the home of his then-neighbor in Norwalk stabbing the 50-year-old disabled woman to death in 2012, authorities said.
Luis Fernando Diofron, also known as Luis Fernando Diofron Lemus, 25, was captured in Guatemala two years after the Aug. 10, 2012, slaying of Denise Battey in the 11900 block of Allard Street, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials.
After nearly three more years awaiting trial, Difron pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree murder, along with the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a burglary, as well as the special allegation that he personally used a knife in the murder, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago.
Prosecutors initially accused Diofron of the additional special circumstance of murder during the commission of a rape. Under Thursday’s negotiated plea arrangement, the allegation of sexual assault was dismissed.
“(Diofron) broke into his neighbor’s home and fatally stabbed the 50-year-old woman,” Santiago said in a written statement. “Following the killing, the defendant fled to Guatemala where he remained for several years. (He) was located in December 2014 and extradited to Los Angeles County four months later.”
Diofron is expected to be receive a life term in prison without the possibility of parole when he returns to the Norwalk branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court for sentencing on July 19, Santiago said.
Diofron was living next-door to his victim while staying in the U.S. on a work visa, Detective Ray Lugo of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said shortly after his capture.
He attacked Denise Battey as she watered her garden during the early-morning hours, like she did every morning, according to investigators and her twin sister, Annese Battey.
Difron then dragged Denise Battey inside her home, where he stabbed her to death, officials said.
He then fled to his native Guatemala.
But detectives received a tip in late 2014 that the killer had been spotted near Guatemala City, Lugo said. Sheriff’s detectives, aided by Guatemalan police and the FBI, arrested Diofron without a struggle on Dec. 4, 2014. He was extradited back to the Los Angeles County to face justice four months later.
The victim was defenseless from her attacker, having just undergone back surgery and suffering from severe sciatica in her one of her legs.
Denise Battery worked for the U.S. Social Security Administration and tutored students on college preparation in her spare time, Annese Battery said. She was a fan of classic cinema and was known for handing out her homegrown tomatoes in her neighborhood.
Denise Battey dreamed of one day having a small home or condominium on the back, her sister said.
Luis Fernando Diofron, also known as Luis Fernando Diofron Lemus, 25, [LEFT] pleaded guilty on Thursday, June 29, 2017 to the murder of neighbor Denise Battery, 50, of Norwalk [RIGHT] on Aug. 10, 2012. Difron was captured in his antive Guatemala two years after the murder. (Courtesy)
The last of 13 defendants charged in connection with an alleged La Mirada-based credit card skimming and drug trafficking ring has been captured in Orange County, authorities announced Friday.
Lloyd Luis Leyh, of Huntington Beach, was apprehended Thursday in Orange, FBI officials announced via Twitter. Details of his arrest were not available.
He joined a dozen other suspects already in custody in connection with the federal 27-count indictment announced last month.
The suspects — many of which have ties to La Mirada- and Norwalk-area street gangs, such as the La Mirada Punks, the Carmelas and the Nazi Low Riders — are accused of using credit card skimming machines to steal the information from more than 500 credit cards, according to U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek. Many of the credit card numbers were obtained at a Huntington Beach restaurant.
Prosecutors allege the ring then made expensive purchases, then returned to items to stores for cash, netting more than $500,000.
Three of the defendants are also accused of methamphetamine trafficking, and one is charged with weapons violations.
Federal officials said the investigation has been ongoing for more than two years.
PHOTO courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice
NORWALK >> A 71-year-old pedestrian died after an SUV veered off the side of the 605 Freeway in Norwalk and struck her as she sat on a dirt median on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
Pauline M. Widuschek died in the 4:22 p.m. crash along the southbound 605 Freeway at Firestone Boulevard, Officer J. Farner of the California Highway Patrol’s Santa Fe Springs area office said in a written statement.
A 62-year-old Lynwood man was traveling south in the right-hand lane, at an unknown speed, when his 1998 Toyota 4-Runner veered toward the right side of the roadway, the officer said.
The 4-Runner went over an asphalt berm along the right shoulder, then struck a tree before striking Widuschek, who was sitting on a dirt median separating 605 Freeway traffic lanes from the Firestone Boulevard offramp, according to Farner. The woman died at the scene.
The SUV continued until it plowed through a chain-link fence at the bottom of the Firestone Boulevard offramp, then collided with a 1999 GMC Yukon heading west on Firestone Boulevard, Farner said.
The driver of the 4-Runner was treated for injuries described as “moderate,” Farner said. A Lynwood woman who was at the wheel of the Yukon was unhurt.
No arrests had been made as the investigation continued.
Any witnesses, or anyone with information, can reach the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs-area office at 562-868-0503.
One man died and several other people were wounded in a string of shootings in the Whittier, La Mirada and Norwalk areas on Saturday afternoon which were believed to linked to the same carjacked car, authorities said.
The attacks took place beginning about 3:30 p.m. in the jurisdictions of the Whittier Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Norwalk Station, according to Whittier police and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials. A man died at a hospital following one of the shootings in La Mirada, officials said.
The series of crimes was believed to have begun with the carjacking of a dark green or black Nissan Pathfinder SUV in the Pico Rivera area about 3 p.m., officials said.
The vehicle was occupied by a man and a woman, both armed with guns, when it pulled through the rear alley of a Starbucks coffee shop at Whittier Boulevard and Colima Road about 3:30 p.m., Whittier police Lt. Brian Ellis said. A man in his 50s was walking in the alley.
“The suspects pulled up to him and shot him in the leg,” Ellis said. The victim was treated for injuries not believed to be life threatening.
There was no apparent motive for the attack, which appeared to be random, he said.
The SUV then headed south on Colima Road, where the attackers opened fire on another car at Colima Road and Lambert Road, according to Ellis. The victim’s car was struck, but no one inside was injured.
The SUV was last seen heading west on Lambert Road following the car-to-car shooting.
The same SUV is believed to be linked to a fatal shooting about 30 minutes later in La Mirada, Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
A man was shot and mortally wounded about 4 p.m. at Santa Gertrudes Avenue and Alicante Road, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead,” according to the statement.
Deputies were also looking into possible additional shootings.
“There are additional shootings in the surrounding areas involving multiple victims,” the sheriff’s department statement said. “The number of victims, as well as their conditions are unknown at this time. There is no additional information available at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.”
Deputies found the SUV believed to have been used in the shootings parked, unoccupied, at Mayberry Park in South Whittier shortly after 6 p.m., officials said. But the suspects remained at large.
The spate of violence followed another shooting in unincorporated South Whittier early Saturday afternoon in which a man was wounded.
A man was shot in the leg about 12:45 p.m. along Carmenita Road, just north of Telegraph Road, sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Nevarez said.
It was unclear whether the earlier afternoon shooting had any connection to the spate of shootings that occurred later in the afternoon.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
NORWALK >> Detectives are seeking the killer or killers of a 50-year-old man who was gunned down while soliciting charity donations in a residential Norwalk neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
The fatal shooting took place about 5:30 p.m. in the 14400 block of Dinard Avenue, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Information Bureau.
“Detectives have learned that the victim was shot and killed while walking down the street going door-to-door soliciting to paint addresses on the curb-lines,” Schrader said in a written statement.
The man was wounded several times in the “upper torso,” Schrader said Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
Coroner’s officials did not formally identify the victim on Wednesday, however officials at the charity for which the man was working when he was shot identified him as Matthew Douglas Glover, 50, of Long Beach.
“Homicide detectives are actively searching for two male Hispanics in their early-20sm, driving a late-model, four-door, white sedan,” Deputy Carolina Rodriguez of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said. “Homicide detectives and the victim’s family are asking the public’s assistance in obtaining any information that will help solve this crime.”
The circumstances of the shooting remains a mystery.
Glover was collecting donations for the Whittier-based charity Care For The Children, according to organization director and founder, Robert Henderson.
Henderson said he’d been working with Glover on-and-off for the past 14 years, even before Care For The Children began in it’s current form in 2006. Glover moved back to Southern California, where he grew up, about two weeks ago after spending time staying with his parents in Arizona, where his mother recently died. He had been staying at a sober living house in Long Beach.
“Matt was one of those guys that the moment you started talking to him, you’d like him,” Henderson said. “He’d make you smile or laugh. He was charismatic. He was bubbly. He had that upbeat personality.”
Glover spend his mornings delivering food baskets to the elderly, then he spent evening collecting donations from address painting, according to Henderson. He enjoyed his work.
Glover was collecting donations after the organization previously re-painted the addresses on curb-sides on Dinard Avenue when the fatal shooting took place, Henderson said.
“He had just collected a donation. He was walking away from the door, he heard the gunshots being fired,” Henderson said.
Henderson said he did no understand why anyone would have targeted Glover, and wondered if the shooting was a robbery or a case of mistaken identity.
Glover is survived by an adult son, Henderson said.
“He was a great guy,” the employer said.
Funds to help Glover’s family with burial expenses are being collected online at www.gofundme.com/memorial-for-beloved-matthew-glover.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTO of Matthew Glover, courtesy.