Police and prosecutors have teamed up to offer cash rewards for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in either of two separate homicide cases.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney and the San Jose Police Department will pay $20,000 to anyone who offers a tip that helps resolve an unsolved stabbing and shooting in 2013. It’s the first time in recent memory that the two agencies have teamed up to offer a reward.
Anthony Daniel Santa Cruz, 17, was stabbed to death just after school let out on Feb. 13 last year near San Jose High School. Investigators believe the attack was gang motivated. Tipsters are encouraged to call detectives Sgt. Steward Davies or Wayne Smith at 408.277.5283.
Justin Watkins, 20, was fatally shot on June 26 that same year in south San Jose. Anyone with details about his case can contact Detective Jaime Jimenez at the same number, which dials the SJPD homicide unit.
“Police Chief Larry Esquivel and I will never accept that any homicide will remain unsolved,” DA Jeff Rosen said. “We will make every effort to bring those who bring bloodshed into our safe community to justice. Today we are asking for the public to join us in that resolve and help us solve two killings.”
In January, SJPD Chief Larry Esquivel helped launched a video series titled “Make the Call.” In the show, Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell interviews family members of the victims in unsolved homicide cases to appeal to the public and encourage them to call in with tips that could close the cases.
“These families and our community need closure,” Esquivel said. “Hopefully this reward money will help us solve these senseless homicides.”