$50K reward offered in Pico-Union stabbing death of homeless woman

PICO-UNION, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- City officials are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever stabbed a 72-year-old homeless woman to death on Feb. 19 in the Pico-Union district.

Police believe Irma Cuevas was stabbed around 1:30 a.m. Her body was found about nine hours later on the sidewalk in the 2600 block of Olympic Boulevard.

She was described as a transient who was frequently seen in that area and was well-liked by those who came across her.

"Everybody described her as harmless, a pleasant lady," said LAPD Lt. John Ratke. "She was known to sweep the sidewalk, to keep the sidewalk clean in the immediate area."

Investigators released surveillance video of a potential suspect who was seen interacting with Cuevas shortly before her death. He is described as an African-American male who walks with a limp and rides a beach cruiser bicycle with a child seat in the back. He was wearing a jacket with a hood and is also believed to be transient.

Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo said he was concerned that with the Trump administration's crackdown on undocumented immigrants, some witnesses may be afraid to come forward with information.

"I think it's significant that we're not getting witnesses in a community that is made up of immigrants," Cedillo said. "We want to make sure immigrants step forward, if there's witnesses. And do so knowing the LAPD is their partner."

Anyone with information is asked to call the LAPD or provide an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at (800)222-8477.
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