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Leads sought in reality TV director's killing; $75,000 reward offered

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Police detectives Monday announced a $75,000 reward in the killing of a reality television director at his Glassell Park home in hopes of drumming up more leads in the case.

James Marcus Howe, 42, and his wife were in their home shortly before 11 a.m. the day before Thanksgiving when a person posing as a solicitor knocked on the door. Two people then ambushed the couple, and a struggle ensued. One of the intruders pulled out a handgun and fatally shot Howe.

His wife, Danae, survived, but Howe died at the scene.

Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying the people involved in what they say was a random act of violence. The City Council is expected to approve the reward Tuesday.

HOMICIDE REPORT: Tracking killings in L.A. County

Howe’s father, Allan, said that over the last few weeks his family has been helping Howe's widow get back on her feet.

“And that’s been a big job after such a devastating loss,” he said.

James Marcus Howe was described as the “ultimate extrovert,” a lively and adventurous person who could impersonate just about anybody, including his father, a minister.

“We have 42 years of raising James Marcus under our belts, and what a very exciting life that was,” Allan Howe, of Evanston, Ill., said. “We are grief-stricken at its sudden end here; it’s beyond words.”

Howe’s mother, Jeanne, said she still doesn’t believe her son is gone.

“I think it’ll set in once I get home,” she said of the loss of her youngest son.

Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents the area where Howe was killed, called the crime “vicious.”

“We are all stunned as a community,” he said. “We are in shock. We are in prayer for the Howe family over this horrific crime. This type of crime should not happen to anyone.”

Detectives are looking for two men between 20 and 25 years old, described as black, about 5-feet-10 and 180 pounds. A woman described as black and in her early 20s with a thin build is also suspected of being involved.

The three fled in a dark green Mustang convertible with a tan hood, said Officer Ryan Watterson. The car could be a model released between 1994 and 2004.

Huizar said detectives are making sure no stone is unturned.

“Anyone who calls in and gives any bit of information can and will remain anonymous,” Huizar said.

Anyone with information may call LAPD’s Northeast Homicide Division (323) 344-5744. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

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Twitter: @nicolesantacruz

nicole.santacruz@latimes.com

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