UPDATE: The board approved the extension of the reward Tuesday.
Michael D. Antonovich will ask his fellow Los Angeles County supervisors Tuesday to extend a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in a 33-year-old Acton murder case.
The Board of Supervisors initially authorized the reward at the request of the Sheriff’s Department Oct. 4, after DNA evidence cleared the prime suspects of the crime. They were never imprisoned due to insufficient evidence, but authorities and the general public “strongly believed they were involved,” Detective Sgt. Brian Schoonmaker has said.
The reward is due to expire Jan. 2 unless it is extended.
The case involves the kidnapping and murder of Leslie Long, a 20-year-old mother of three from Palmdale whose body was found Dec. 8, 1978, at the base of a small hill off the 14 Freeway at Soledad Canyon Road in Acton.
Long had been reported missing three days earlier, following a robbery at what is now the Alliance Gas station at Palmdale Boulevard and Division Street. Long was working the night shift when the gas station was robbed and she was kidnapped at gunpoint.
Deputies found her body and determined she had been raped, shot and killed at the Acton location.
Investigators eventually learned that two convicts escaped from a northern California prison three days prior to the murder. They were soon recaptured but couldn’t be definitively linked to the crime. Investigators were convinced they were responsible, and the case otherwise went cold.
A examination this year of DNA trace evidence from items found at the scene cleared the two convicts. The real suspects are either out there somewhere or they’re dead. Either way, Antonovich and sheriff’s officials would like to know.
The supervisors’ $20,000 reward combines with a $5,000 reward from Chevron Corp. and $1,000 from the city of Palmdale, bringing the total to $26,000.
Persons with information are encouraged to call Schoonmaker directly at 323-890-5579, or to report a tip anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
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