The Riverside City Council is expected Tuesday to approve a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the individual or parties responsible for beating a 60-year-old woman near the entrance to a park, inflicting injuries that ultimately claimed her life.
Interim Riverside police Chief Larry Gonzalez requested that the $10,000 offer be posted in the hope that a monetary incentive would spur potential witnesses to come forward to solve the beating death of Susan Wagner.
The reward, if approved, would remain available for 60 days, at which point it would need to be extended by the council, or returned to the city treasury.
According to police, Wagner was walking along Orion Street, near the southwest entrance to Doty-Trust Park, when she was attacked on the evening of Nov. 1. Investigators did not explain why the victim was in the area, but there are indications she was disoriented and agitated at the time.
A passer-by discovered Wagner about 11:30 p.m., lying in a grassy area close to the park entrance with major head trauma, prompting a call to 911.
“Ms. Wagner was transported to Riverside Community Hospital, where she was evaluated and found to have multiple facial fractures and brain bleeding,” according to a statement posted to the council agenda. “As a result, Ms. Wagner was placed in a medically-induced coma (to relieve) the pressure on her brain and allow her to recover. Unfortunately, she did not respond when the medically induced coma was reversed.”
With her family present, she was removed from life support on Nov. 25.
According to police, security surveillance cameras from area residences and businesses indicated there were several people walking near the victim between 7:30 p.m. and 8:50 p.m., and several cars drove through the area in the time when detectives believe she was beaten.
Investigators have exhausted leads and are turning to the public for help.
Anyone with information was urged to call the detective bureau at 951- 353-7138, or submit a tip via email at email@example.com.