• 45°

Murder of cashier prompts Spencer alderman to offer reward

SPENCER — The murder of a 20-year-old cashier working at a Spencer convenience store in 2010 shocked all the elected officials in this small town, but Alderman Reid Walters was especially affected.

In 2005, Walters taught world history at Salisbury High School to a class full of freshmen including Deyanira Rios de la Cruz. “Dee,” as she was known, was an excellent student and a very good soccer player, Walters said.

“She had a personality you would never forget,” he said. “She was a very nice girl, a polite girl who was a hard worker.”

Five years later, Cruz was shot to death during the armed robbery at Latin Mix, 429 N. Salisbury Ave. in Spencer. Her murder remains unsolved and is one of the top cold cases in Rowan County.

In an effort to keep Cruz’s murder in the public eye and help law enforcement solve the crime, Walters proposed the town board put up reward money. The Spencer Board of Aldermen during a budget workshop on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the Nov. 12, 2010 homicide.

Bradshaw’s Bail Bonding has offered an additional $500 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator responsible for these crimes, according to Spencer Police Chief Michael James.

Anyone with information should contact Spencer Police Investigator N.W. Pacilio of the Spencer Police Department at 704-633-3574 or 704-633-2231. 

Walters said Cruz’s death has had an impact on him, as well as on the law enforcement officers who responded to the scene. Cruz was shot just after hitting the panic button during the morning shift at Latin Mix.

“She was at work,” he said. “She was just doing her job.”

Walters said he believes someone has knowledge about the murder that could help police make an arrest.

Cruz wasn’t supposed to be working the morning she was shot. She normally worked afternoons but had taken another clerk’s shift so she could earn extra money to help her family move into a nicer home.

The gunman fled with $11.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

Comments

Comments closed.

Education

‘Better chance of succeeding’: Moody, colleagues reflect on tenure, retirement

News

Collecting garbage: Locals work to beautify High Rock Lake during Clean Sweep

Coronavirus

Salisbury man grateful parents’ story has impacted many

News

Celtics take big lead and hold on to top Heat 117-106

Business

Downtown Salisbury ‘moving swiftly’ with developers interested in Empire Hotel

Business

From fantasy to fact, Cherry builds a Hobbit House at his Treesort

Business

Biz Roundup: CSP seeking to hire 100 new employees for plant expansion

Coronavirus

Police, sheriff focus on education in addressing mask-wearing complaints

Education

Candidates for East Area school board seat have widely different views on renewal

Kannapolis

Cannon Mills’ whistle sounds again, brings nostalgia with it

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Outbreak at jail annex over; new cases emerge at Kannapolis facility

Elections

In Senate race, Tillis calibrates ties to Trump

News

5 Charlotte officers recommended for dismissal after death in custody

Elections

Trump, Biden hit unlikely battleground state of Minnesota

College

Maui Invitational moving to Asheville during pandemic

News

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 19

Coronavirus

Kannapolis brewery linked to eight COVID-19 positives

Elections

Local Democrats call to ‘turn the state blue’ during virtual office reopening

Education

Funding flat, enrollment down slightly for Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Education

Catawba gets high marks in U.S. News and World rankings for fifth year

Business

China Grove soap store sets sights on expansion into Kannapolis

News

Charlotte, UNC game canceled after 49ers place players in quarantine

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 18