The governor’s office announced Monday it is offering $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer or killers of a 53-year-old homeless man named Gregory Ghan, who was severely beaten in an Isla Vista park and eventually succumbed to his injuries days later. The reward is one of four being offered by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office statewide. Sheriff Bill Brown submitted the request for funds in October, Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Drew Sugars said. Investigators have conducted 94 interviews and put roughly 960 hours into the investigation. A lot of different agencies have pitched in, but ultimately no charges were filed. “We really have exhausted every avenue,” Sugars said.
Ghan was beaten so badly he fell into a coma. Ten days later, his family took him off life support. A lack of physical evidence made it difficult for investigators to pursue the case, but eventually the evidence, including a tip, led them to three suspects-two male juveniles and one adult male. Investigators requested that the District Attorney’s Office indict the three for assault leading to great bodily injury, but now-retired Senior Deputy District Attorney Darryl Perlin said there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The decision left the case in limbo, yet detectives continued to pursue it.
Under the Governor’s Reward program, 19 rewards have been paid; there have been 263 rewards offered since 1967. The process is initiated when a written request comes from the head of the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the matter-in this case, Sheriff Brown. To qualify, the request must show that all leads must have been pursued and those requesting the funds must believe the reward will help solve the crime. The victim’s family must also support the reward. The governor has the final say regarding the request. “If someone saw something and were concerned about getting involved,” Sugars said, “hopefully the reward would spur them to do that.”