SANTA CLARA COUNTY (BCN) — A $100,000 reward has been reissued to help solve a 1994 cold case of an East Coast man who was fatally shot in Santa Clara, police and county officials announced on Monday.
Matthew Flores, 26, was killed at point-blank range on the morning of March 24, 1994, Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian said during a news conference this morning at Santa Clara police headquarters.
Flores was shot while stepping out of his car at the parking lot for a month-long training at Applied Materials, which is offering the reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case, Simitian said.
“Matt’s family and friends think this case is just as important today as it was more than 20 years ago,” Simitian said.
Flores left behind a wife and a then-8-month-old daughter who graduated from college last week, according to Simitian.
The company first offered the money soon after Flores’ death but investigators had little information to make an arrest. The money was presented again in 2011 after Flores’ family reached out to Simitian for help
in solving the case, the supervisor said.
The effort five years ago brought new leads, but none helped propel the investigation, according to Simitian.
The reissued reward comes on the eve of what would have been Flores’ 49th birthday, which his family continues to remember, Simitian said.
Flores was on his 10th day of training with the company when he died and had planned to move his family to Texas to work as an engineer, Sellers said.
About a month before the killing, Flores had been discharged from the U.S. Army after four years of service, during which time he received honors for his role in Operation Desert Storm.
Flores was born in Rhode Island, where he attended high school and college.
Santa Clara police Chief Michael Sellers, who has served with the department for almost 30 years, recalled the investigator assigned to the case in 1994 had little evidence to work with.
Investigators were able to locate only one witness who parked five or six cars away from Flores and a handful of other employees scattered in the parking lot, Sellers said.
Video surveillance of the public parking lot at 3225 Oakmead Village Drive showed Flores drove a rented white Chevrolet Corsica and parked in a blind spot that wasn’t visible on the footage, according to Sellers.
Early on in the investigation, detectives identified a suspicious 1991 to 1994 light-colored Ford Explorer Sport with two doors and a black trim on the lower panels seen in the parking lot, authorities said.
“We certainly don’t have enough information to know whether or not he was the intended target or was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. The district attorney’s office has solved five cold cases since reopening the cold case unit in 2011 and authorities hope to give Flores’ family some answers on who was responsible for his death, Rosen said.
“We hope that this generous reward will expose even the smallest thread of information about this homicide,” Rosen said.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to the police tip line at (408) 241-9495.