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Video may shed light on Long Beach murder

March 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A murder suspect may have been caught on surveillance tape just before a deadly shooting in Long Beach in January. Police are asking for the public's help in identifying him.On the corner where 18-year-old Jonathan Cordova was shot and killed, his family maintains a vigil in his honor.

"He was a nice, sweet guy," said Diana De La Riva, Jonathan's cousin. "He used to always play around with us."

De La Riva says the family is hoping someone will come forward with any information that could lead to an arrest.

"We can't do anything anymore, but at least -- to know who it was, that can help," said De La Riva.

And now some seven weeks after the shooting, police say they might finally have a lead. They say surveillance video shows a Hispanic man and a white early-2000s model Toyota car with a hubcap missing. Detectives believe both are connected to the murder.

"Based on interviews with witnesses of the area and looking at the surveillance video, the detectives believe that is the vehicle involved in the murder," said Long Beach Police Lieutenant Lloyd Cox.

The police department made prints of the very grainy images captured on that surveillance camera. Thursday, volunteers with Long Beach Search and Rescue went door to door in the neighborhood where the shooting happened, hoping that the blurry images might lead to a break in the case.

"To try and see if somebody out here may have recognized that car in the neighborhood, may have seen it that night, may not realize it's a connection to the murder, and hoping that someone will then come forward and provide us with valuable information we need to solve this murder," said Cox.

Cordova was killed on the night of January 30. Police say he had just left a party and was on a street corner when he was approached by a male and shot.

"We're not identifying the gangs or the members involved in it," said Cox. "But we do believe it's gang-connected."

If you have information related to the case, you're asked to call the Long Beach Police Homicide Division at (562) 570-7244.