San Diego/ Politics & Govt
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Published on March 30, 2024
California Governor Offers $200K in Rewards for Tips on Unsolved Murder Cases in Costa Mesa, San Diego, Santa AnaSource: Josh Thompson, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In a bold move to crack cold cases wide open, California's Governor Gavin Newsom has slapped a hefty price tag on justice. Four $50,000 rewards are now on the table for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of a quartet of unsolved murders in the cities of Costa Mesa, San Diego, and Santa Ana. The Governor's office announced a bid to reel in crucial information that law enforcement agencies have so far been unable to fish out by themselves.

On the grim roster is the case of Alan Schwalbe in Costa Mesa and the San Diego tragedies of Gregory Ruffin and Lamontee Stevenson, alongside Santa Ana's Victoria Barrios. The rewards come into play as last-ditch efforts when detectives stare down the barrel of a dead end. 'Public assistance is vital to law enforcement, and rewards may encourage the public cooperation needed to apprehend those who have committed serious offenses,' a statement from the Governor's office rings out, underscoring the essential part civilians can play in the administration of justice.

Among the mentioned victims, 22-year-old Gregory Ruffin was gunned down near a San Diego apartment complex on February 24, 2019. Likewise, Lamontee Stevenson, only 19, met a fatal ending from a shooting at a San Diego party on August 17, 2019. With the trail having grown cold, the San Diego Police Department pleaded for the reward, hoping it might jolt loose some withheld secrets. Detective Sergeant Geoff DeCesari of the San Diego Police Department Homicide Unit stands ready at 619-531-2943 for those holding the keys to unravel these mysteries. Media inquiries can be directed to Lt. Steve Shebloski at 619-531-2275, while San Diego County CrimeStoppers at provides an anonymous tip line.