$25,000 Reward Offered for Information in Killing

Times Staff Writers

A $25,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer of a 22-year-old woman who was stabbed to death in her Costa Mesa apartment July 18.

The reward was announced Wednesday, the same day Malinda Gibbons was buried in her hometown of Harrisville, Utah, a rural suburb of Ogden. More than 800 friends and relatives attended the funeral, said Bill Godfrey, Gibbons' father. Godfrey said the reward was offered by Western Digital Corp., the Irvine company where Gibbons' husband, Kent, had started work the day of the slaying.

Godfrey called the outpouring of sympathy in the town of 2,200 "a tremendous, a real tribute to her" and said the tragedy has brought the family closer together.

Although Costa Mesa police have no suspects and few leads in the slaying, Godfrey expressed "all the confidence in the world" that the killer will be found.

Gibbons was bound and gagged with her husband's neckties, then stabbed in the heart by an intruder, police said. She bled to death amid unopened moving boxes in the bedroom of the couple's first-floor apartment in the Mediterranean Village complex on Harbor Boulevard.

Kent Gibbons found the body when he returned home from his first day of work as an electrical engineer, police said.

No weapon has been recovered, and authorities are awaiting the results of computer checks to identify fingerprints found in the apartment.

There were no signs of forced entry, and investigators do not know how the killer got into the apartment, Detective Lynda Giesler said. Nothing was apparently taken from the premises, she said.

Authorities asked that anyone with information about the case call the Costa Mesa Police Department at (714) 754-5205 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and (714) 752-5280 after 5 p.m.

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