$25K reward announced in 2011 murder of 19-year-old LASD explorer, friend

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Authorities hope a new $25,000 reward will lead to an arrest in the murder of a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department explorer and his friend seven years ago.

Cesar Rodriguez, 19, and his friend Larry Villegas were shot and killed outside a home near Whittier in 2011. Rodriguez was a volunteer at the sheriff's Norwalk station and was planning on becoming a deputy.

Villegas was a 24-year-old mechanic for Caterpillar, as well as a father of one with another baby on the way at the time of his death.

Investigators believe Rodriguez may have been mistaken for a gang member.

Rodriguez's mother continues to relive the pain of losing her son seven years later.

"To this person who did it, I don't know how you can live knowing us and we don't know you," she said at a news conference on Tuesday.

She urged the shooter to come forward.

"Trust me, you will live better, you will feel better, and you will give two mothers hearts a little bit of comfort. And especially if you have children, you can please stand in my shoes for one second. Look at your children and think, 'What would I do if somebody did this to my child?'" she said.
Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.