ORANGE, Calif. — As his family prepares for a weekend funeral service, the reward for information leading to the killer of 6-year-old Aiden Leos, who was shot in a road rage incident on the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway, stood at $450,000 on Wednesday.
The Costa Mesa City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to add $50,000 to the reward fund.
"The senseless tragedy of Aiden Leos' death has been felt by the entire community," Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens said in a statement. "We want to do what's necessary to bring Aiden's killer to justice, to take him or her off our streets, and to deter others from engaging in this type of dangerous conduct."
Aiden was killed May 21 while his mother was driving him to kindergarten in Yorba Linda. His mother, Joanna Cloonan, was driving a silver Chevrolet Cruze Sedan with her son in the right rear passenger booster seat when another driver opened fire between 7:55 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. on the northbound Costa Mesa Freeway between the Garden Grove (22) Freeway and Chapman Avenue.
Reyes Valdivia and his wife stopped to help when they spotted Cloonan on the freeway shoulder pulling her son out from the passenger side of the car.
He said she told them that when she tried to switch lanes to exit, a Sedan with a man and woman inside cut her off and she gestured to them and proceeded into the exit lane, which is when the bullet entered the left side of her trunk and struck her son.
She called 911 and the boy was rushed to Children's Hospital of Orange County, where he was pronounced dead.
The California Highway Patrol last week released a photo of the suspect vehicle, which appears to be a white Volkswagen Golf Sportswagen with non-tinted windows.
It appears to be a 2018 or 2019 model, but investigators have not been able to obtain a license plate from the snapshot. The suspect vehicle was last seen going eastbound on the Riverside (91) Freeway toward Riverside, said CHP Officer Florentino Olivera.
Anyone with information was asked to call the CHP at 714-567-6000. The CHP also has set up the firstname.lastname@example.org email to receive tips. Anonymous tips may also be phoned in to 800-TELL-CHP.
Another website has also been created to help collect tips from the public -- www.aiden-reward.com.
Funeral services for Aiden will be held at noon Saturday at Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda. The service will be private, attended by family, friends and invited guests, but it will be live-streamed for public viewing at Yorba Linda United Methodist Church.