It’s amazing what a reward can’t do.
For months I wondered why the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors didn’t offer a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of killers who took the life of Sammantha Salas in January.
The board blamed the lack of a reward on detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
Detectives said they needed time to solve the case, using tried and true methods before turning to a reward.
Salas was killed in a hail of gunfire Jan. 28 outside an apartment complex in the 2500 block of Peck Road in an unincorporated county section near Monrovia called “No Man’s Land.”
An unidentified friend of Salas was seriously wounded in the assault that also left a stucco apartment building riddled with bullet holes.
Two suspects in the shooting were described as African Americans in their 20s. They were wearing dark-colored bandannas or hooded sweatshirts and are probably members of the Du Rock Crips gang, authorities said.
By June, leads that detectives could pursue ran thin, and the supes put up a $10,000 reward. It was set to expire on Sept. 2.
Today the board will extend the reward in hopes of catching Salas’ killers.
“It’s been slow,” Sheriff’s Lt. Dan Rosenberg said. “But it’s going to get active again. What’s happened here isn’t from a lack of trying.”
Reporters did a stunning job tracking down the missing link in a mystery that has vexed detectives for 23 years.
When John and Linda Sohus disappeared from their San Marino estate in 1985, their mysterious tenant, identified as Chris Chichester, vanished as well.
In 1994, when bones were unearthed at the Lorain Road property, Chichester became a person of interest in the homicide investigation.
From then until Monday, investigators said they had no idea what Chichester’s real name might be.
It all began unraveling on July 27, when Boston socialite Clark Rockefeller and his seven-year-old daughter Reigh “Snooks” Boss disappeared. Rockefeller was accused of child abduction and the trail led to Baltimore, where he was arrested.
The girl was returned to her mother. Rockefeller was taken into custody and extradited to Boston. A fingerprint linked him to Chichester. A photograph tied him to a twentysomething foreign exchange student named Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who lived with the Savio family in Berlin, Conn. in the early 1980s.
From there it was only a matter of time until reporters connected the dots back to Alexander Gerhartsreiter, who said Christian was his long-lost brother.
Three days later authorities confirmed the link, pointing out on a wanted poster that Clark Rockefeller is Chris Chichester is Christian Gerhartsreiter.