Saturday, March 09, 2002

Investigators hope sketch leads to killer

Woman believed driver of car when shot fired

By Jane Prendergast,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati police on Friday announced a significant development in their investigation of the killing of a Mexican man.

        They released a sketch of the heavyset black woman wearing glasses who witnesses said was at the wheel of the car early Feb. 26 when Ricardo Rangel-Tapia was shot in Mount Auburn.

        There's also a more specific description of that car: a 1989 two-door, cream-colored Honda with tinted windows and black side molding.

        A witness in the car with Mr. Rangel-Tapia said people in the suspect vehicle shouted, “(Expletive) Mexicans!” before one fired. Police say they still are investigating whether the incident was motivated by hate.

        Sister Margarita Brewer, director of Su Casa Hispanic Ministry in Carthage, called the developments good news for the Hispanic community which remains fearful of more attacks.

        “I really pray for the reconciliation of people,” she said Friday. “They are frightened. And we just want to be able to tell people the police are working diligently on it.”

        The sketch and development came on the day friends and family of Mr. Rangel-Tapia, 23, said goodbye to him at a funeral Mass at St. Charles Church in Carthage. The hotel cook was sending money home to Mexico, to his wife of four months. They planned for her to join him here.

        Mayor Charlie Luken is preparing a response to the Ohio Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs that will pledge his commitment to working with representatives on issues facing Hispanics, said his spokesman, Brendon Cull.


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