Los Angeles, CA — A woman who was a passenger in a vehicle and apparently being kidnapped was fatally injured in a traffic collision with police in pursuit. Last week on Feb. 16 shortly after 8 a.m., LAPD Central Area officers on patrol came across a black GMC Yukon that was currently being sought in connection with a kidnapping in progress in the area of Wilshire Boulevard and Bixel Street. The suspect driver tried to get away from the officers, but after a short pursuit, hit another vehicle at 6th and Carondolet Streets, killing the victim/passenger, identified as 36-year-old Santa Clarita resident Lilian Pleitez and causing the driver of the third-party vehicle to suffer a broken collar bone.
Immediately after the collision, 39-year-old suspect Jeffrey Minifie of Los Angeles attempted to run away from the scene on foot but was later apprehended. A subsequent investigation revealed Minifie and Pleitez had been involved in a relationship and that the incident started at the suspect’s residence. The exact motive for the kidnapping is unknown; however, detectives have associated it with domestic violence. Minifie remains in custody, and no bail amount has been set. Yesterday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed murder charges with special circumstances against Minifie for “kidnaping with great bodily injury,” a charge that could allow prosecutors to pursue the death penalty.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to call Rampart Area Detective Pere at 213-484-3440. Anyone wishing to report a crime can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.