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Crimestoppers Reward Increased in Homicide Investigation of 7-Year-Old Boy

This information is 1 month 2 weeks old and may no longer be accurate.

On what should be a celebration of his eighth birthday, and one month since his tragic death, Crimestoppers of Tampa Bay has increased the reward for tips that lead to the identification and arrest of those who were involved in the homicide of Yitzian Torres Garcia.

“The thoughts and prayers of our department and the entire community are with the Torres Garcia family as they hold a memorial service for Yitzian in Puerto Rico today,” said Chief Lee Bercaw. “Our detectives have been working tirelessly to identify and arrest the suspects in this case and we will not stop until there is justice for Yitzian and his family.”

Yitzian was killed on the night of July 4, 2023, after a verbal altercation ensued between two groups of Hispanic males regarding the reckless driving of a jet ski near the area where children were playing in the water. The altercation escalated when some members of each group began shooting at each other. Yitzian’s grandfather, Juan Carlos Hernandez, suffered a gunshot wound to his hand as he attempted to protect Yitzian from the gunshots.

Today, Crimestoppers of Tampa Bay doubled the original reward, raising it from $5,000 to $10,000. 

“Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward of up to $5,500 for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the unknown suspect(s) involved in this case. In addition, reward monies of up to $4,500 are now available through the Florida Association of Crime Stoppers, in partnership with the Florida Office of Attorney General,” said Kelly McLaren, Executive Director of Crimestoppers of Tampa Bay. “The enhanced reward monies are available through June 30, 2024. The tip must come through the Crime Stoppers program and lead to the identification and arrest of the suspect(s) to be eligible for the enhanced reward.”

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement added an additional $5,000 for tips that lead to the arrest and conviction of those involved.

“The Tampa Bay Community tragically lost Yitzian Torres Garcia due to senseless gun violence. FDLE stands in partnership with Tampa P.D. both investigatively and forensically to bring those responsible for this murder to justice. If you have information concerning this unimaginable event, I implore you to please come forward. The family and the community deserve justice,” said SAC Mark Brutnell

Tampa Police Detectives urge anyone who was at or near the Courtney Campbell Causeway around 8:30 pm on July 4 to review any video they may have recorded to see if there may be anything that could assist in the investigation. Anyone with information can call Tampa Police at 813.231.6130. Those who wish to remain anonymous and be eligible for the reward can contact Crimestoppers of Tampa Bay at 800.873.TIPS, online at crimestopperstb.com, or by mobile tip using the free Florida Crime Stoppers Mobile application. Crime Stoppers must be contacted first in order to be eligible for a cash reward.