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Clues sought in 2002 slaying of 15-year-old Brenda Sierra

March 30, 2012 | 11:14 am

Brenda SierraAuthorities are asking the public to help identify two men who may have been involved in the slaying of a 15-year-old Montebello girl  a decade ago.

Photo: (Left and middle) Compositie sketches of persons of interest. (right) George Barraza. Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's DepartmentBrenda Sierra was on her way to school Oct. 18, 2002, when she disappeared. Her body was found the following day in a remote wooded area in the San Bernardino Mountains near Crestline.

The case left few clues for police and for Sierra’s family, who launched a widespread search for the killer and offered a $150,000 reward. No arrests were ever made, though.

The slaying has been difficult to solve, authorities say, because although neither Brenda nor her family were associated with gangs, the case involves gang members who were unwilling to talk.

“But with the passage of time, some of the gang members have been killed, locked up or disassociated themselves from the gang and there have been more tips,"  said Lt. Dave Coleman of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. “Also, we now have new ways of looking at fingerprints and DNA.”

Detectives released composite pictures of the two men. They also are asking for help finding a third man, George Barraza, known as “Trooper.” Barraza, about 32 years old, has been a person of interest since 2009. Police believe he fled the area.

“We’re looking for any information on them,” Coleman said. “For anybody who may have actually seen the abduction.”

He said new tips show there may have been two women involved in the kidnapping. Police believe a dark SUV was seen at the site where Sierra’s body was dumped.

Sierra attended Schurr High School in Montebello, she was a good student and had just celebrated her quinceanera a few months before she was killed.

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-- Esmeralda Bermudez

Top photo: Brenda Sierra. Bottom photo: From left, composite sketches of persons of interest;  right, George Barraza. Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

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