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$10K reward offered for tips that help solve slaying of Navy sailor in California

(La Mesa Police Department/Facebook)

It was just before 12:30 a.m. on a Saturday in April when 22-year-old Corneilius Donte Brown answered an unexpected knock at the front door of his La Mesa apartment.

Standing at the door were two men wearing black ski masks and black hooded sweatshirts, police said. One of them fired three shots, striking Brown twice.

Brown, a Navy sailor, was taken to a hospital where he died.

Six months later, the homicide remains unsolved. But La Mesa police and Brown’s family hope a $10,000 reward will lead to tips that could help solve the case. Brown’s family is offering $9,000 on top of $1,000 reward from San Diego County Crime Stoppers, authorities announced Tuesday.

Brown was with others at his Echo Court apartment when he was shot, police said. He suffered gunshot wounds to his neck and chest. He died in surgery at a hospital.

Witnesses told police that the assailants ran away.

La Mesa police Lt. Greg Runge said Tuesday that detectives are continuing to follow up on leads, collect evidence and interview witnesses.

“Due to the ongoing nature of the case, we are unable to release any additional details at this time,” Runge said. “The La Mesa Police Department is thankful for the efforts that Donte’s family have made to increase the Crime Stoppers reward.”

Anyone with information about the case was asked to call the La Mesa Police Department at (619) 667-7533 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477.

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© 2021 The San Diego Union-Tribune

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