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Detectives look for help in 2 cold cases

June 23, 2009 9:50:50 AM PDT
L.A. County Sheriff's homicide detectives hope DNA testing and some help from the public will lead to solving two cold cases.Karen Klass was raped and strangled with her pantyhose in her Hermosa Beach home in January 1976. Klass was a young mother and the wife of singer-songwriter Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers.

Two friends saw the suspected killer running from the house. The shaggy-haired, bearded man in a trench coat and blue jeans was never seen again.

Authorities say it's one of the longest outstanding murder cases in the city. Detectives are hoping someone knows something that could lead to the suspect.

"We have a DNA profile, however that DNA profile has not resulted in a hit in a CODIS database," said Lt. Paul Becker from the L.A. County Sheriff's homicide department.

There's a $150,000 reward in the murder of 15-year-old Brenda Sierra, who was on her way to school in Montebello when she was kidnapped. Brenda's body was found in Crestline the day after she was abducted in 2002.

Sheriff's investigators say they've learned in the past few months she was kidnapped and killed by members of an East L.A. street gang. They're now waiting for DNA results made possible by new technology.

Investigators say there was absolutely no gang association by the popular teenager. Her sister, Fabiola Saavedra, says a scholarship has been setup in Brenda's name.

Saavedra addressed her remarks to people who may know the murderers.

"Now you guys might be parents of your own children. One day it was my sister. Tomorrow it could be somebody else," said Saavedra.

Anyone with information that might help in either case is asked to call L.A. County Sheriff's homicide detectives at (323) 890-5500.

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