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Homicide Report: Slain 15-year-old girl lay in her own blood for hours

March 21, 2011 |  1:00 pm

Saray Rivas, 15, was shot to death last month in a second-floor apartment in the 1300 block of Third Avenue in Arlington Heights. By the time her body was discovered, authorities said she had been dead for at least half a day. 

Benjamin Gottlieb and Mary Slosson, student journalists who work on USC’s Neon Tommy/Annenberg Digital News, visited the neighborhood to report on the killing.

Below is an excerpt of their post for the Homicide Report:

Exterior of the apartment complex where Saray Rivas was shot and killed. Credit: Mary SlossonFifteen-year-old Saray Rivas was shot and killed in a part of Los Angeles where residents are afraid to talk, where silence eats up questions about immigration status, gang violence and even murder.

Saray lay in a pool of her own blood for more than 12 hours after being shot in an Arlington Heights apartment because nobody wanted the police around asking questions, witnesses said.

When police did come, they were met with silence.

LAPD homicide Det. John Jamison said a 17-year-old Latina "basically confessed" on Feb. 21 and was arrested in connection with the killing. Her name was not released because she is a juvenile. Jamison said she is a resident of Los Angeles.

"Once the shooting occurred, everybody left the location," Jamison said.

The apartment ... was rented to a woman who "wasn’t home when the shooting occurred," Jamison said.

The known facts, provided by the Los Angeles County coroner, are few: Saray was shot in the left eye with a small-caliber gun. The bullet exited through the back of her head.

Read the full story: Silence, fear after 15-year-old girl is shot to death


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Photo: Exterior of the apartment complex where Saray Rivas was shot and killed. Credit: Mary Slosson

Click to visit The Times' interactive Homicide Report