The unsolved home invasion slaying of a beloved Silver Lake resident has stumped police, left his family reeling and the community on edge.
Six months ago, Joseph Gatto, 78, a father, grandfather, educator and a world-renowned artist was killed inside the Silver Lake home where he and his wife had raised their family, including Assemblyman Mike Gatto.
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Despite a $50,000 reward, the crime remains unsolved.
Police Chief Charlie Beck acknowledged the challenge.
"It is unusual for a person to be killed in their home in LA and not have an immediate suspect," he said. "The longer an investigation goes without a resolution, the more difficult it becomes."
Neighbors feel "actual, palpable fear," said Capt. Jeff Bert, who is also a resident of the neighbornood.
Anne Marie Johnson, a neighbor and lifelong Silver Lake resident, said she is seeing "more alarm systems, more flood lights, more watching the cars as they go by. More really getting to know your neighbor."
Mike Gatto's dedication to the case is paralleled only by his frustration over the lack of a suspect.
"We are so hopeful that they will catch whoever did this but we're also frustrated that it's taken six months," Gatto said. "My wife says it best when she says 'We want to know who to be mad at.'"
Beck said he's taken this case to heart.
"All of LA was shocked by the 78-year-old man in the privacy of his home being murdered," he said in interview with NBC4. "I've met the Gatto family and they're wonderful people, and their pain is our pain."
Beck declined to share details of the investigation, but welcomed any information the public could provide.
- Watch: Beck on Gatto Slaying
"We need help on this, we need everybody to think about where they were then, what they saw, what they know and give it to us so we can give the family some resolution on this awful circumstance," Beck said.
For Gatto, part of the challenge is in how to break the news to his children.
"The hardest thing has been having to tell my 4-year-old about it," he said. "She just asked me one day, 'Dad, did someone kill Gramps?'"
Gatto continues to struggle with the lack of resolution.
"It's a little strange to think that the killer's still out there," Gatto said. It "could possibly be somebody who lives in the Greater LA area or perhaps right in Silver Lake."
Even when focused on his constituents, Gatto's mind is never far from his quest to find his father's killer.
"Just last week I got some good money in the water bond and did some good things for LA," he said. "I wanted to call him and tell him the story but I actually found myself dialing the phone."