Police turn to social media for help solving 2001 murder

21-year-old Maria Hsiao was fatally shot outside Q-Cafe in Palo Alto on June 10, 2001.

Maria Hsiao (far left) was enjoying an evening out with friends when she was fatally gunned down.

In Palo Alto, police are asking for the public's help and turning to social media for assistance solving a 16-year-old homicide case, in which a young woman was gunned down outside a downtown night club.

Police look to public, social media, for help in cracking Palo Alto cold case

21-year-old Maria Hsiao was shot once in the head while standing outside the now-defunct Q-Cafe in Palo Alto, located at 529 Alma St., just after midnight on June 10, 2001. Hsiao, a student at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, was enjoying an evening out with her sister and some friends when she was gunned down.

Police never recovered the weapon nor developed a motive for the fatal shooting.

Over the weekend, on the anniversary of the shooting, the Palo Alto Police Department re-circulated a 10-minute video about the case, calling for anyone with information about the killing to come forward. The video, first released in 2015, includes interviews with police and Hsiao's loved ones.

Investigators are asking folks to share the video on their social networks. The hope is that the more widely this video is seen, the more chances exist that someone will come forward with a tip that may break the case.

"Even someone with second- or third-hand information about what happened may hold the missing piece of the puzzle that helps us crack this case, solve a mystery, and bring justice for Maria, her family and her friends," the Palo Alto Police Department posted on its Facebook page.

Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tipsters may also call the detective bureau during business hours at 650-329-2597.

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