Parents of Slain Nurse Seek Help in Finding Killer

The parents of a hospital nurse shot to death in her Van Nuys condominium in 1986 held a news conference Monday to ask the public's help in finding their daughter's killer.

Sherri Rae Rasmussen, 29, director of critical care nursing at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, was killed Feb. 24, 1986, when she surprised one or more burglars who beat her and shot her once before stealing her car, said Police Detective Lyle O. Mayer.

Nels and Loretta Rasmussen came from Tucson, Ariz., to the Van Nuys police station to renew their offer of a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killers. Sherri Rasmussen's husband, John Ruetten, an engineer in San Diego, and sister, Theresa Lane, of Loma Linda, joined them in asking anyone with knowledge of the crime to come forward.

"It's been nearly two years of hell not knowing who did this to Sherri or why," Ruetten said. "You try to move on, but it's hard to do when you're always going over in your mind how it might have happened."

Sherri Rasmussen's car, a silver BMW, was discovered 10 days after her death about two miles from the couple's condominium in the 7100 block of Balboa Boulevard, but contained no clues, Mayer said.

Investigators believe that the intruders may have been the same men who came close to killing another woman two months later in a botched burglary three blocks from Sherri Rasmussen's home, Mayer said.

The victim of the second break-in walked into her apartment and confronted two men stacking stereo equipment by the front door, Mayer said. The woman ran away when one of the men pointed a gun at her, and the intruders left without taking anything, he said.

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