Kim Pham beating: Autopsy complete; reward offered in Santa Ana death (update)

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2:44 p.m.: The Orange County Coroner completed the autopsy Thursday on Kim Pham, who died after being beaten Saturday morning in Santa Ana.

The Santa Ana Police Department said the coroner's autopsy shows Pham died as a result of "complications from blunt force trauma to the head."

Pham, 23,  was declared dead Tuesday after she was beaten unconscious early Saturday morning outside The Crosby nightclub in downtown Santa Ana. 

Santa Ana police said she was waiting with friends to get into the club when an argument started with another group  and the argument escalated into punching and kicking. 

Vanesa Zavala of Santa Ana faces a pre-trial hearing next week (Jan. 30) on murder charges in connection with Pham's death.

Police continue to look for four other suspects, two men and two women, wanted in connection with the beating.

A reward of $10,000  has been offered for information leading to additional arrests.

12:04 p.m.: A reward of $10,000 has been offered for information leading to more arrests in connection with the beating death of a 23-year-old Westminster woman over the weekend outside a Santa Ana nightclub.

Kim Pham was declared dead Tuesday after she was beaten unconscious early Saturday morning outside The Crosby in Santa Ana. Pham had been waiting with friends to enter the club and became involved in an argument with another group.

Police say a crowd of onlookers watched as the altercation escalated to punching and kicking, and some made videos of the incident with their phones. Investigators are urging witness to come forward with any information they have. 

Vanesa Zavala, 25, has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with the incident. And Santa Ana police are looking for four other suspects — two men and two women. 

The Santa Ana City Council voted to offer $5,000 for information leading to additional arrests, and Downtown, Inc., a coalition of local businesses, has matched the reward. 

Zavala was arraigned Wednesday at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, and bail was set at $1 million. 

She faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison if convicted. 

A spokeswoman from the Orange County District Attorney's office would not comment on its investigation of the incident or the evidence against Zavala. 

Following her arraignment, Zavala's defense attorney Kenneth Reed says his client lost her cell phone during the incident, and he believes police recovered it. He says he's seen no evidence in the case against Zavala.  

"I'm confident that ultimately my client will be found not guilty," said Reed.

He said Zavala has a 5-year-old son and that she works in an office in Santa Ana. 

Corporal Anthony Bertagna with the Santa Ana police department  said he did not have information about whether police have Zavala's cellphone. He did say detectives are still looking for four other suspects — two men and two woman. 

"The detectives continue to look for the four individuals that were with the one suspect we have in custody, Miss Zavala," Bertagna said. "They are going through video. They are interviewing people, and they're looking to get those people identified in hopes that they will come in and talk to the detectives and give their version of what occurred." 
Bertagna said several witnesses have come into the police department or contacted detectives. He said there were a lot of people recording video at the incident, and investigators hope to receive more of it.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or might have information including cellphone video are urged to call Santa Ana police detectives at (714)245-8390 or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.

Zavala's next court appearance is a pre-trial hearing scheduled for January 30th in Santa Ana Superior Court.

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