Monique Alexander was 18 years old when she went to the store and never came back. Today, 20 years after her body was found near Vernon and Western, her family has learned she was the victim of a serial killer.
"It's a bitter feeling," said Monique's father, Porter Alexander. "It's a feeling that I can't seem to get rid of. "
"She was loved, just like anyone else. We loved her dearly and miss her," said Monique's mother, Mary D. Alexander.
"She was shot in the chest, and she bled to death," said Porter Alexander.
Ballistics tests from the gun that shot Alexander linked her death to seven others in the 1980s. There was a quiet phase, then three more bodies were found in South Los Angeles and Inglewood alleys between 2001 and 2007. They were linked to the suspect through DNA.
Photos of the victims are published in the L.A. Weekly: 10 women and one man. One victim got away. According to LAPD investigators, the killer attacks people in the sex trade.
Police have been searching for records of inmates, looking for a profile to match the unknown stalker.
Police are also seeking what is called a "familial DNA survey," going through the state felon DNA database for possible close relatives. That requires approval from the State Attorney General.
"We are hopeful the state will take this on as a familial case and if that happens, that may become an excellent avenue," said Deputy Chief Beck.
"I just know that someone, somewhere, knows something," said Mary Alexander.
The Alexanders want the killer not just brought to justice, but put to death.
"He hurt me dearly; that was my baby that he took," said Porter Alexander. "I need to pull the switch if it needs to be pulled."
It's a very difficult case to crack. The investigators say they only have a vague description of the suspect. He was in his mid-30s at the time of the slayings in the 1980s, which would make him in the mid-50s today.