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LASD - Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept Information Bureau (SIB)
Friday August 10th, 2018 :: 06:49 p.m. PDT

Community

*Video Link* $35K Reward, Suspect(s) Sought in Murder of 53y/o Mother, Longtime Carson Res Tauvaaga “Judy” Lauvai

View the press conference and video surveillance of the suspect vehicle on LASD’s facebook link by clicking here: https://www.facebook.com/LosAngelesCountySheriffsDepartment/videos/2333307756696124/
 
This afternoon, Homicide Bureau detectives presented a $10,000 reward to the public.  The bounty was sponsored by Mark Ridley-Thomas and approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, offered in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for the murder of shooting victim, Tauvaaga “Judy” Lauvai.

Detectives announced a second reward of $25,000, sponsored by the city of Carson, also offered in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murder of Judy Lauvai.

Sheriff Jim McDonnell stood alongside Lauvai family members as detectives made the announcements and outlined the circumstances surrounding Judy’s death at a press conference held on Friday, August 10, 2018, at the Hall of Justice.

Judy was a longtime Carson resident, making it her home for more than 50 years.  It was where she grew up, lived with her husband of 28 years and raised four children.  Judy was dedicated to her church, enjoyed her Samoan culture and was an enthusiastic bingo player; she took happiness in many things, but above all, she was devoted to her family.

Although she since moved to Arizona for work, Judy went back to her hometown to visit relatives and celebrate an early Father’s Day.  It was while they were gathered at the family home, located in the 22700 block of Island Avenue, Judy was mortally wounded. 

Just minutes before 9:00 P.M. on Saturday, June 16, 2018, everyone was gathered on the front porch, enjoying dessert and each other’s company.  An unknown suspect stopped their vehicle in front of the house and fired multiple gunshots at the group; two people were struck.  A male relative suffered a leg injury, while Judy sustained a gunshot wound to the chest and clung to life.  She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.  The beloved mom was 53 years old.

The vehicle was described as a light-colored, four-door sedan.  There was no suspect description.

"Judy called Carson home for many years, and we are calling on the community to help solve this senseless crime," said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who authored the reward motion. "Coming forward with information will not only bring justice to her family but also make the community safer."

“Each time we ask for the public’s help, we always want people to understand that the victim is not anonymous to us…Help us find Judy Lauvai’s killer,” said Sheriff McDonnell.

To date, all leads are exhausted.  Detectives have no viable clues regarding this tragedy and are hoping the $35,000 total in reward offers will stimulate communication in the area of the shooting.  Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.  If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may call “L.A. Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 MOBILE APP” on Google play or the App Store, or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.
 
Prepared by:
Deputy Lillian Peck
Sheriff’s Information Bureau
211 West Temple Street,
Los Angeles, CA  90012
213-229-1850
 
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L.A. Crime Stoppers:  Partner to prevent or report crime by contacting your local Sheriff’s station.  If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may call “L.A. Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 MOBILE APP” on Google play or the App Store, or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.
 
Jim McDonnell, Sheriff
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
 

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