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$75,000 reward offered in fire that killed woman, 1-year-old son

$75,000 reward offered in fire that killed woman, 1-year-old son
Oscar Reyes speaks at a news conference Thursday announcing a reward for information in the fatal fire that killed his girlfriend and their 1-year-old son. (Nicole Santa Cruz)

Police on Thursday announced a $75,000 reward in the killing of a 28-year-old woman and her 1-year-old son, who died in a March 5 house fire that appeared to be intentionally set.

Authorities responded to the fire about 11:30 a.m. in a converted garage in the 100 block of East 50th Street, said Los Angeles Police Det. Louie Calzadillas.

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Investigators found evidence that Gisella Yauli, 28, had been tied up in a bedroom. Yauli and her 1-year-old son, Dillan Reyes, died from smoke inhalation.

It is unclear if the killing was the result of a robbery due to the damage caused by the fire.

"We're trying to find if anyone might have seen any suspicious activity," Calzadillas said.

Oscar Reyes — Dillan's father and Yauli's boyfriend — was at work at Henry's Tacos in Studio City when the fire was set. Yauli had dropped off their older son, Kenny, 7, at school that morning.

"Why that day," he said. "I guess they had been watching us."

Reyes said he and Yauli, who owned a clothing shop downtown, were hardworking parents whose priority was their children. He said he couldn't think of a reason why someone would kill his son and girlfriend, and is hoping the reward will compel someone to speak up.

"Every little bit helps," he said at the conference, wearing a white shirt featuring his son and girlfriend's faces on it.

Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD Newton homicide detectives at (323) 846-6556. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

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