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Banning Police Offer Reward For Information Leading To Suspects In Triple Murder

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BANNING (CBS) — Authorities are offering a $25,000 reward for information that helps solve a triple murder, in which a toddler was bound and gagged and left in a closet after his parents and another woman were slain, a police sergeant said Monday.

A family friend found the child’s 42-year-old father, Demetrius Earl Hunt, and 33-year-old mother, Natasha Biggers, along with the body of 57-year-old Cynthia Smith. They were found in a house in the 100 block of Phillips Street on September 6 of last year.

All three died of asphyxiation, according to Banning police Sgt. Alex Diaz, who said detectives have not established a motive.

Hunt and Biggers were Banning residents; Smith’s city of residence was unclear.

Diaz said the Banning City Council approved the $25,000 reward for information on the victims’ deaths a few weeks ago.

Police said the toddler was found — his hands bound with tape and his mouth covered — after an officer outside the house heard the child whimpering.

He was taken to San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, where he was found to be dehydrated but otherwise unhurt.

Purvis Hunt said his son was found dead next to his girlfriend and a friend.

“It was a dope gang,” he said in remarks reported by the Riverside Press-Enterprise. Police did not confirm that drugs played a role in the slayings.

Anyone with information about the killings was asked to contact investigators at (951) 849-1194.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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