South Los Angeles, Calif – (January 26, 2022) Today, Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) announced at a press conference hosted by District Attorney George Gascon and Los Angeles elected officials, a $50,000 crime tip award authorized by Governor Gavin Newsom, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of perpetrators responsible for the murder of 16-year-old Tioni Theus.
On the morning of Jan. 8, Tioni Theus’ body—with a gunshot wound to her neck--- was found on the side of the freeway along the West Manchester Avenue on-ramp near South Figueroa Street, in the Vermont Knolls area of Los Angeles.
“I am OUTRAGED! She was someone's daughter, sister, cousin, friend, that was taken from us too soon! No family should have to bear the burden of losing their child in this manner. WE IN OUR COMMUNITIES MUST STAND TOGETHER. Whether Tioni's DNA matched ours or not, she was OUR daughter and we will not rest until we find the cowards who did this. We need answers NOW!
I stepped up to the plate and connected with CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray to request the Governor to utilize the Crime Tip Reward Program that would allow him to offer a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators of this crime. I am proud to say that, as of this morning, this request was honored. I want to thank the Governor for his swift action which moves us one step forward toward Justice for Tioni. I also want to commend the efforts of my colleagues over at LA City Council and LA County for their leadership in standing up for victims of senseless violence. We say: Enough is enough.”
In regard to the Governor’s Reward Program, the law enforcement entity that has jurisdiction in relation to the crime must submit a letter to the Governor requesting this reward. In the case of Tioni, the jurisdiction fell under the California Highway Patrol (CHP) because her body was found on the side of a highway. According to Penal Code § 1547, the Governor may issue the reward only upon a recommendation from law enforcement officials.