I-Team Vegas Unsolved: Men who killed grandmother left something behind at crime scene

I-Team Special Reports

Celia Luna-Delgado murdered at check-cashing business in 2018

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Three years after two men murdered a grandmother while she was at work, Metro police detectives are releasing new details about the case and believe it can be solved with the public’s help.

On Jan. 11, 2018, Celia Luna-Delgado, 55, was opening for the day at a check-cashing business on North Jones Boulevard near Vegas Drive when two men attempted to rob her. Detectives believe the men were casing the area and were waiting for an employee.

“Every time I get a call with a 702 area code, my heart sinks,” Sheyla Padilla, Luna-Delgado’s daughter, who now lives out of state, said. “I think, ‘Is today the day?’”

Padilla said her mother was her best friend and the glue that held the family together. Luna-Delgado had talked to her daughter about the potential dangers of working in a money-oriented business but said she never would risk her own life for the business.

“She would always say, ‘They’re insured,’” Padilla said. “She wasn’t trying to play brave.”

A photo of Celia Luna-Delgado outside of the check-cashing business where she was shot and killed. (KLAS)

The men forced Luna-Delgado into a back room where the now-closed business kept its safe. The time lock prevented her from opening it.

The men shot and killed her.

“We lost her and they didn’t even take anything,” Padilla said. “She wasn’t trying to play hero. I know, we probably crossed her mind.”

Celia Luna-Delgado with her daughter Sheyla Padilla. (KLAS)

Witnesses and surveillance video caught the men running toward a residential area nearby, but the cameras inside the business were not working, Lt. Ray Spencer, of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, said. The men also had their heads covered.

“She did not deserve to be killed for doing her job,” Spencer said. “For these two people to murder her is senseless.”

With time, Spencer believes it is likely one of Luna-Delgado’s killers talked about it. Police also believe they have an item of clothing one of the men left behind. The lieutenant did not elaborate about that item further.

“People talk about what happened,” he said. “That’s how we solve these cases, especially after two, three years.”

Padilla said arresting the two men will not bring her mother back but finding the murderers who stole her life will at least take away theirs.

“I would have to sit down with my son and talk to my mother’s urn to tell her about his day,” she said. “I just think, a little bit of justice, she deserves much more than that.”

Tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 702-385-5555 or at crimestoppersofnv.com/report-a-crime. Crime Stoppers offers a reward for information that leads to a conviction.

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