Newsom announces $50,000 rewards in 4 California cold cases, including 2019 shooting death of teen girl in Santa Ana

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LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the availability of four $50,000 rewards for information on the murders of four people, including a teen girl who was gunned down in Santa Ana nearly five years ago.

Newsom made the announcement Friday, hoping the rewards will help solve the deaths of Alan Schwalbe in Costa Mesa, Gregory Ruffin and Lamontee Stevenson in San Diego, and Victoria Barrios in Santa Ana.

“I just remember that smile, those beautiful eyes, but it just turns to pain, anger and frustration,” said Barrios’ mother, Eva Barrios.

Death of Victoria Barrios

The young girl was killed in a drive-by shooting on August 30, 2019, near Pine and Hickory streets in Santa Ana. She was 18.

Nearly five years later, investigators have yet to close in on a suspect.

A preliminary investigation revealed the shooting was gang-related, and the girl was an unintended victim killed by a stray bullet.

Newsom’s $50,000 reward paired with another $50,000 reward from the Santa Anna Police Department is giving authorities hope that someone will come forward.

The victim’s mom is hoping for the same thing.

“I understand the situation being gang-related, people are afraid, the community is afraid, so first and foremost, just look into your hearts, and on top of that, there’s a 100,000 reasons to come forward now,” said Eva Barrios.

Under California law, law enforcement agencies can ask the governor to issue rewards in certain unsolved cases where they have exhausted all investigative leads.

“Just shame on you … you cowards,” said Eva in a message to her daughter’s killer. “You not only took a life, you took my baby’s life, and you left her to die in the street like an animal.”

Man killed in his Costa Mesa home

The case of Alan Schwalbe dates back to 1993.

On August 11 of that year, the 61-year-old was fatally stabbed in his home in Costa Mesa.

The governor’s office said the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has hit a wall in terms of leads and requested that a reward be offered.

If you have any information, call Investigator Bob Taft with the Department’s Cold Case Detail at 714-647-7055 or coldcase@ocsheriff.gov.

Deaths of 2 San Diego men

On Feb. 24, 2019, Gregory Ruffin was fatally shot near an apartment complex in San Diego. He was 22 at the time.

Lamontee Stevenson, 19, was shot and killed at a party in San Diego on Aug. 17, 2019.

The San Diego Police Department hasn’t made progress in either Ruffin or Stevenson’s cases.

If you have any information on either cases, contact Detective Sergeant Geoff DeCesari with the San Diego Police Department Homicide Unit at 619-531-2943.

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