Vigilant Solutions announces today that it was recognized publicly at the recent International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference in Chicago by the Long Beach Police Department for its assistance in a tragic case involving the murder of a three-week old infant.

Deputy Chief David Hendricks presenting certificate of recognition to Founder Shawn Smith
Deputy Chief David Hendricks presenting certificate of recognition to Founder Shawn Smith

Deputy Chief David Hendricks and Lieutenant Lloyd Cox presented a certificate to Vigilant’s Founder and President, Shawn Smith, outlining some of the details of the case. On January 4, 2015, an attempted murder occurred in the 100 block of West 51st Street in the City of Long Beach. Three young adult victims were shot and a three-week old infant was kidnapped from the residence. Homicide detectives responded to the crime scene and identified the kidnapped infant as Eliza DeLaCruz. Detectives were determined to arrest the suspects responsible for the shooting and kidnapping, and worked tirelessly to find baby Eliza and return her to her family.

On January 5, 2015, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department notified detectives that the body of an infant was found in a trash dumpster in Imperial Beach, California. The medical examiner confirmed the identity of the infant as Eliza DeLaCruz.

Homicide detectives focused their efforts on solving the heinous and senseless murder of baby Eliza. Detectives had no suspect vehicle information and only a limited physical description of a single male suspect; therefore they could not even issue an Amber Alert to ask the public for help in the case. Detectives combed through the crime scene for evidence, interviewed witnesses and looked into the background of the shooting victims to determine a motive for the kidnapping and murder of baby Eliza.

Homicide detectives used every investigative tool available to them to gather evidence in the case, including License Plate Reader (LPR) technology, which can identify vehicles in or around a crime scene. However, the Long Beach PD’s LPR data is limited to vehicles in the City of Long Beach, and the homicide investigation extended into Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties. Initially, detectives began making telephone calls to law enforcement agencies in each county to request assistance with their LPR data in researching possible suspect vehicle information. Detectives quickly realized this task was extremely time-consuming.

Homicide detectives learned that Vigilant Solutions maintains a national, commercial LPR database that is made available for law enforcement use. Detectives contacted Vigilant Solutions and explained the sensitive nature of the murder investigation. Vigilant Solutions immediately arranged for account profiles to be created and provided training to assist detectives in researching available commercial LPR data to further their investigation. This commercial LPR data, and the analytic tools provided by Vigilant, proved essential in solving the murder of baby Eliza.

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