Reward Increased in Fatal Freeway Shooting

A reward for information leading to an arrest in the Jan. 17 shooting death of a correctional officer increased to $35,000 on Monday, officials said.

The California Department of Corrections added $25,000 to the $10,000 reward set up after the murder of Elizabeth Ann Begaren, 40, who was gunned down along an onramp to the Riverside Freeway in Anaheim.

Begaren was with her husband, Nuzzi, and his 10-year-old daughter when they pulled off the freeway to elude a dark sedan following them. Four men got out of the car, took $4,800 from Begaren and shot her after she flashed her officer's badge, Nuzzi Begaren told authorities.

Begaren, who worked for the Department of Corrections since 1989, most recently had been assigned to a state prison in Lancaster. While there she helped investigate inmate-related crimes, prison spokeswoman Diane Gonzales said.

"She was extremely dedicated and respected here," Gonzales said. "We wanted to do something to help."

The Correctional Peace Officers Assn. offered the initial $10,000 reward last month.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Anaheim Police Det. Fred Pittington at (714) 765-1582.

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