Solution to Soccer Star's Slaying Could Be One Clue Away, Police Say

Killers escaped in a dark blue or green late-1990s or early 2000s Ford Expedition or Explorer, police say.

"We may have one clue that comes in and breaks this case wide open," said LAPD Capt. Tom Brascia, as police continue to seek the killers of 17-year-old soccer star Francisco Javier Rodriguez Jr., who was lured to his death by a reddish-haired young woman.

"There's people out there that know exactly what happened," Brascia said. But there is one new piece of evidence: The killers reportedly escaped in a vehicle described as a dark blue or green, late-1990s or early 2000s Ford Expedition or Explorer as Rodriguez lay dying on his front lawn in the 6900 block of Cozycroft Avenue in Winnetka.

Rodriguez's father, who recently returned from a trip to his native Mexico, was working to arrange his son's burial. His son's wish was to be buried next to his best friend, Chatsworth High soccer star in Chatsworth's . The son was known as "Panchito," a nickname for "Little Francisco."

Romero was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bicycle on DeSoto Avenue last April. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Tuesday for , who is charged with vehicular manslaughter and other charges stemming from the accident. Her father, , is accused of being an accessory after the fact.

You can find KABC7 Video and a report by Miriam Hernandez here.


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