Hoping for answers

first_img Rafael Sierra, 17, said he hopes the money will be enough to convince someone to come forward with information about his sister’s death. “You know, they just say a little something, and boom, they can move away and use the money to buy a house and start a new life,’ he said. His mother lives in West Covina, and he lives in Commerce with his father. And his brother and two sisters have moved away from their old neighborhood. “I go to Roosevelt High School in East Los Angeles, so I still keep my ear to the ground to keep up, to see if anybody knows anything,’ Rafael said. “But I don’t really walk around here anymore. I don’t want to, as we say on the street, get caught slippin.’ I don’t want to get caught here by myself.’ Although authorities do not know exactly who killed Sierra, they believe members of a local street gang, known as Living on the Top, or LOTT, are responsible for Brenda’s death. Lt. Henry Romero of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said he hopes that people afraid of being labeled as rats will have gained courage as time passed. “Maybe the guy who did this is in custody for another crime and the person who comes forward is not in any danger anymore,’ he said. Even as Sierra’s friends move away to start lives of their own, they said they won’t forget their old friend, who was known in the neighborhood as a responsible girl did not mind baby sitting the neighborhood children. “There is no closure for us,’ said Joyce Diaz, 18, a former classmate. “The person who did this is still out there enjoying life.’ @Tagline columnist:Ben Baeder can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2703, or by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Fabiola Saavedra on Tuesday looked out at the 140 people assembled at a vigil for her younger sister, Brenda Sierra. When Brenda was beaten to death Oct. 18, 2002, she was a fresh-faced, 15-year-old Schurr High School sophomore. But many of Brenda’s classmates wore sweat shirts emblazoned with the names of universities. “You guys are all growing up,’ Saavedra said to the the crowd. “I wish I could see my sister walking through a college, getting an education.’ AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The vigil, which commemorated the third anniversary of Brenda’s death, was held at an unnamed strip of park south of Whittier Boulevard in the family’s old East Los Angeles neighborhood of graffiti-scrawled walls and tiny houses. Brenda disappeared from that neighborhood while walking to school early one morning. Her beaten body was found the next day dumped among some pine trees near Crestline in San Bernardino County. Brenda’s family and the authorities still do not know who killed her. At the request of Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, the county is offering $150,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the conviction of whoever killed Brenda. “The East Los Angeles community continues to be saddened by this senseless tragedy, and we are determined to find the person responsible for Brenda’s death and bring the perpetrator to justice,’ Molina said in statement. last_img

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