Police are looking for an assailant who stabbed a 62-year-old woman to death in a robbery Monday evening in South L.A.
Maria Elena Rivas had just got off the bus from work, bought groceries from a nearby Ralphs supermarket in Adams-Normandie and was walking home about 6:30 p.m. when the assailant attacked her from behind and stabbed her, police said.
Paramedics arriving on the scene found Rivas on the ground and rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she died, police said.
LAPD homicide detectives said the supermarket's security camera video shows Rivas used money from a large wallet she kept in her purse to pay for her groceries. The purse and the wallet were missing after the attack, they said.
Just days before Christmas, the crime left Rivas' family stunned.
"We're at the bottom of the floor right now. She was like our right hand," Rivas' nephew, Misael Contreras, told CBS2. ""It's just a senseless crime. If she would have died of old age or sickness, we'd understand, but not like this."
A makeshift memorial has been placed near where Rivas was attacked at the intersection of Adams Boulevard and Catalina Avenue.
Though the attack happened at rush hour, no witnesses have come forward, police said.
"There was absolutely no reason why such an innocent lady walking home to her family should be killed in the street," LAPD Capt. Peter Whittingham told KABC-TV.
Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call LAPD South Bureau Criminal Gang Homicide at (213) 485-4341.
In the last year, there have been five other homicides within a mile of Monday's killing, according to the Homicide Report.