A Lomita man and his girlfriend, arrested in the slaying of a Gardena man in Redondo Beach, were released from custody Tuesday. Police said detectives need more time to work the case.
Eduardo Losa, 41, who was booked Saturday on suspicion of murder, and Shelby Ann Johnston, 29, were released from custody about 7 a.m. Johnston is seven months pregnant.
If they had remained in jail, the law requires that prosecutors would have to charge the pair and arraign them in court.
"We need more time to put the pieces together," Redondo Beach police Capt. Jeff Hink said.
Losa was suspected in the Friday night shooting death of Bobby Darin Reynolds, 38, at Ralston and Lilienthal lanes. Also suspected is Erick Julian Ortega, 27, of Lomita, a documented North Side Redondo gang member who remains at large, police said.
Losa, who was arrested on suspicion of murder, and Johnston, who was suspected of accessory to murder, remain suspects, Hink said.
Johnston's mother, however, said Losa and her daughter were not involved in the crime.
"All charges have been dropped. The truth has come out," Teri Johnston said. "They had nothing to do with this."
Police investigators have not described the evidence that led them to Losa. He was described as a 42-year-old North Side Redondo gang member with a lengthy criminal past that includes assault with a deadly weapon, robbery and parole violations.
Losa lived with Johnston and their baby son at a rented house on 260th Street in Lomita. A Redondo Beach SWAT team raided the house Saturday night. Losa was not there at the time, but was arrested later in his car.
Neighbors described Losa as an excellent father, and said Johnston maintains an immaculate home.
Police said Losa was an accomplice of Eric Julian Ortega, a 27-year-old North Side Redondo gang member whose Chrysler 300 was abandoned blocks from the crime scene.
Ortega, whose body and scalp are covered with tattoos, has a rap sheet that includes robbery, making threats to kill someone, resisting arrest, drug possession and being a felon in possession of ammunition. He is suspected of trafficking drugs and sending the proceeds to prison inmates, police said.
The motive for the killing, and whether the suspects had a connection to Reynolds, was unknown, police said.
A gunman walked up to Reynolds at 8 p.m. Friday, shot him several times and ran to Ortega's Chrysler, which was found on Spreckels Lane in Redondo Beach. Reynolds appeared to be specifically targeted, police said.
Ortega and Losa were longtime friends who worked as dishwashers at a Pacific Coast Highway restaurant in Redondo Beach.
Reynolds also had a criminal record that included robbery and drug offenses dating to 1992.