$10,000 Reward Offered, 2nd Suspect ID'd in 2009 Long Beach Killing

The case has heated up in recent weeks as new information is being reported to police

By Melissa Pamer
|  Thursday, Aug 15, 2013  |  Updated 1:16 AM PDT
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New DNA evidence and a new suspect sketch renewed the hope of homicide detectives in an unsolved murder case. The murder of a seventy- six- year- old- woman was regarded as Long Beach’s most wanted homicide cases. Hetty Chang reports from Long Beach for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on August 14, 2013.

Hetty Chang

New DNA evidence and a new suspect sketch renewed the hope of homicide detectives in an unsolved murder case. The murder of a seventy- six- year- old- woman was regarded as Long Beach’s most wanted homicide cases. Hetty Chang reports from Long Beach for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on August 14, 2013.

A $10,000 reward was announced Wednesday for information solving the nearly five-year-old homicide case of a 76-year-old Long Beach woman who was violently stabbed to death in her own home.

In recent weeks, crucial new clues have emerged in the investigation into the Jan. 31, 2009, death of Leam Sovanasy, below at right, who was found fatally stabbed in her home in the 1400 block of Peterson Avenue. Police don’t know what the motive was for her killing.

"The avid Los Angeles Lakers fan was a Cambodian immigrant who survived the Khmer Rouge regime, only to be violently murdered in her Long Beach home," the Long Beach Police Department wrote in a news release Wednesday.

Last month, police said they had received their most significant lead to date: that a four door, white Chevrolet Caprice, similar to the one shown below, that may be from the early 1990s was seen in the area of the crime.

That announcement resulted in "an outpouring of support from the community" that generated the description of a "person of interest" seen in the car.

On Wednesday, police said a new witness had emerged identifying a second person of interest seen in the car.

The initial person of interest was described as a black male in his mid-20s, 5-foot-9-inches tall, with black hair and brown skin and a thick-to-medium build. The second was a black male in his 20s, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9-inches tall, with black hair and brown eyes and a medium build.

A $10,000 reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of those responsible for Sovanasy’s death was approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Police said detectives had been "actively working this case" since 2009.

Those with information are asked to contact the Long Beach Police Homicide detectives Teryl Hubert or Detective Mark Bigel at 562-570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), texting TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or visiting lacrimestoppers.org.
 

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