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Benefit concert to establish scholarship in memory of slain teen

 Photo: Monette Hereford and her surviving children stand near a portrait of her slain daughter, Edwinta Hereford during a press conference with the media May 25, 2010 at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Friends and family of Edwinta Hereford, a 19-year-old black woman who was found dead on the side of a freeway in May, are holding a benefit memorial concert this weekend.

The event will be held Saturday at the Shield of Faith Church, located at 1750 W. Holt Ave., in Pomona. It will begin at 6 p.m. and feature music performances by B. Alexander and Kingdom Worship, the Tim Peterson Singers, T.C. Bereal and the Greater Los Angeles Cathedral Choir, as well as other guest music artists.

The concert proceeds are intended to fund a scholarship her mother, Monette Hereford, is establishing in her daughter's name. "Winnie loved to help people and I want her name to continue [on]," she said.

Hereford, an aspiring model, at one time attended San Bernardino Valley College and had plans to return to school at the time of her death.

Her body was found by a passerby in the early morning hours of May 16 on the side of 105 Freeway. Authorities said Hereford had been pushed from a speeding car driving east on the road.

Sheriff's homicide investigators had to ask for the public's help to identify her body, describing a distinctive tattoo on her back.

At the time, coroner's officials said that they had not yet determined whether Hereford was killed when she was thrown from the vehicle or was killed elsewhere and her body left on the roadway. Coroner's office this week said the cause of death was still deferred.

Her mother said authorities have yet to make an arrest in connection with her death and have told her they have few to no leads. Monette Hereford said she continues to ask that her daughter's killer surrender to law enforcement officials.

She also is asking for the public's help to find those responsible for the crime.

"It happened to my daughter; it could happen to their daughter," she said.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the scholarship fund may do so at any US Bank under the ECH Winnie Memorial account, or attend the concert.

Anyone with information about the death of Edwinta Hereford should contact the sheriff's homicide bureau at (323) 890-5629. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

-- Sarah Ardalani

Photo: Monette Hereford and her surviving children stand near a picture of her slain daughter, Edwinta Hereford, during a press conference on May 25 at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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