Twin brothers, 18, arrested in South Los Angeles stabbing death

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Twin 18-year-old brothers from Los Angeles were arrested Tuesday in connection to the stabbing murder of a 62-year-old South Los Angeles woman. Investigators believe they could be tied to a string of unsolved robberies in the area.

Maria Rivas was killed Dec. 22 as she walked home from the market. Investigators said Keishon and Kenyata Blake robbed and stabbed her to death near Adams Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.

The Blake brothers could be linked to multiple assaults and robberies in the South Los Angeles area, including a violent robbery of an elderly woman, investigators said.

Shortly before her murder, Rivas was seen on surveillance video buying groceries at Ralphs. Her purse was clearly seen on her shoulder. When she was found along the street, the purse was gone and the groceries were left behind.

Maria Elena Rivas, 62, is is seen in an undated photo (left), and at a Ralph's Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. She was fatally stabbed as she walked in West Adams (right).

Family members said they were relieved the suspects are behind bars.

"Maria Rivas was my aunt, my nina, my second mother. We just want to thank the whole LAPD, the detectives, everyone who was involved," nephew Misael Contreras said.

Detectives say they are hoping other robbery victims will look at the suspects' pictures.

"There are a number of unsolved robberies in that area... We are hoping that folks will take a look at these pictures. If they look familiar to you... please let us know," LAPD Det. Robert Leit said.

"Having these two thugs off the streets right now, people should feel a lot safer. These are two bad individuals that no doubt would have continued with their crime spree," LAPD Det. Sal Labarbera said.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the LAPD at (877) 527-3247.

Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.