Reward increased to $100K in 2004 murder case

February 2, 2010 10:24:06 PM PST
Alameda County sheriff's officials announced today that the reward for information leading to arrests in the shooting death of 19-year-old Mark Anthony Espinal six years ago has been increased to $100,000.

Wednesday will be the sixth anniversary of the incident in which Espinal was shot to death in front of his home in the 1500 block of 167th Avenue in San Leandro at about 12:18 a.m. on Feb. 3, 2004.

Sheriff's investigators said that after they received reports of shots fired, deputies found Espinal lying in the driveway of his residence.

He sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators said they later learned that several friends had dropped off Espinal in front of his residence just before the shooting. They said Espinal immediately became involved in an argument with two black males who were walking on the sidewalk.

According to sheriff's officials, the argument ended when one of the two suspects shot Espinal. The suspects then fled eastbound on 167th Avenue toward Liberty Street. No suspect vehicle was seen leaving the area.

Sgt. Scott Dudek said today that several witnesses recently came forward and with the assistance of Jim Ruiz, a composite sketch artist, investigators are now able to release drawings of both suspects wanted for the murder of Espinal.

He said investigators are hopeful that in time they will have enough information to make an arrest.

Dudek said suspect number one, who is believed to be the shooter, is described as a black man adult who was about 18 to 20 years old at the time of the shooting, 6 feet 1 inch to 6 feet 2 inches tall, dark skinned, 130 to 150 pounds, having a slender build and sporting removable gold caps on his front teeth.

That suspect was wearing a red pullover jacket, black or dark blue pants and black or dark blue beanie.

Dudek said suspect number two is described as a black man, dark complexion, about 18 to 20 years old, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall with removable gold caps on his front teeth.

According to Dudek, the second suspect was wearing dark blue or black pants, a navy pea coat and a dark hat. His hair was black, with its style described as numerous small twist dread locks with possible blond tips. The second suspect may have been injured at the scene.

People who have information about the suspects or the case may call an anonymous tip line at (510) 667-3622, Sgt. Scott Dudek at (510) 667-7478 or Detective Ed Chicoine at (510) 667-3123.

The reward had been $70,000 but Dudek said it was recently increased by $30,000 in honor of the sixth anniversary of Espinal's death.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger contributed $50,000 to the reward fund in December 2007.