california governor offers $50,000 reward in rape/murder case

In California, the governor is offering a $50,000 reward for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who sexually assaulted and killed 33-year-old Ashley Yamauchi in Marin County two years ago: Governor offers $50,000 reward in 2008 San Rafael rape-murder.

Yamauchi's body was found outside Fourth Street Tavern in downtown San Rafael on December 2008, the morning after she went to the bar to watch football. An autopsy revealed she was sexually assaulted and died of asphyxiation.

With no suspects, and no significant breaks in the case, San Rafael police applied for the governor's award last month:
Although the crime occurred within close range of numerous potential witnesses, the murder has proven difficult to solve. Police obtained DNA evidence but it has not yet led to an identifiable suspect, Rohrbacher said.

In the months after the crime, San Rafael police interviewed dozens of people including a man who was seen leaving the bar with Yamauchi, but no suspect was implicated. A review of Yamauchi's electronic messages and a stakeout of a possible suspect also failed to identify the killer.

In December 2009, San Rafael police announced they had pieced together a $4,000 reward, including $1,000 each from the San Rafael Police Association, the Marin County District Attorney's Office, Crime Stoppers of Marin and an anonymous local business.

Last month, the department applied for the governor's reward with help from Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael.

"I hope that the reward will bring Ashley Yamauchi's killer to justice, and in doing so provide closure for the family," Huffman said in a statement.
Yamauchi, who at the time of her death was the single mother of an 8-year-old girl, worked as a nanny and was making plans to become an aesthetician.

The San Rafael Police Department has established a dedicated phone number and e-mail address for tips related to the crime. People with information should call 458-2399 or send e-mail to findashleyskiller@srpd.org. For more information, go to ashleyyamauchi.com.

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