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Oklahoma woman arrested for the nearly 30-year-old murder of California store owner Shu Ming Tang

  • Rayna Elizabeth Hoffman-Ramos, 61, was arrested on March 16 for the high-profile murder of Devonshire Little Store owner Shu Ming Tang in 1993.

  • The victim, a Taiwanese immigrant, was reportedly shot in the chest while working at his family-owned store in San Carlos, California, on April 26, 1993.

  • The case remained unsolved for almost 29 years until the Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit reopened the investigation in 2018.

  • The authorities did not divulge information on what exactly connected Hoffman-Ramos to the crime.

A woman in Oklahoma was arrested last week for a murder that happened nearly three decades ago. 

The arrest of 61-year-old Rayna Hoffman-Ramos on March 16 was in connection to the high-profile murder of Devonshire Little Store owner Shu Ming Tang in 1993.

On April 26, 1993, local officers responded to reports of a shooting and found Tang with a gunshot wound inside his store on Devonshire Boulevard in San Carlos, California. Tang, a Taiwanese immigrant, was reportedly shot in the chest while working at his family-owned store.

Investigators believe Tang’s eventual death was a result of a robbery gone wrong due to early reports that a woman was seen leaving the store after the purported shooting. 

The investigation conducted by the San Carlos police based on the gathered leads at the time did not result in any arrests. The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office took over the investigation in 2010 after it started running police services for San Carlos.

The case, which made national headlines at the time, remained unsolved for almost 29 years until the Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit reopened the investigation in 2018.

Hoffman-Ramos, who was a resident of San Mateo when the alleged crime was committed, soon emerged as a person of interest in the investigation.

Suspect sketch; Rayna Hoffman-Ramos via San Mateo Sheriff’s Office

“This was a cold case for nearly three decades. Today, I can announce that we’ve made an arrest, and justice for Mr. Tang’s family is at hand,” San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos was quoted as saying. “The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Tang family for their support.”

The authorities did not divulge information on what exactly connected her to the crime. Hoffman-Ramos, who does not have any criminal history, remained the only suspect in the case. 

Tang’s family has been informed of the arrest of a suspect.

“Mr. Tang was a husband, a father and a friend who came to the United States to provide a better life for his family,” San Carlos Mayor Sara McDowell told reporters. “His death shook the community of San Carlos and has remained a topic of discussion over the years.”

Hoffman-Ramos is currently being held without bail in Washington County, Oklahoma, and is awaiting her extradition to San Mateo County.

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