March 8, 2021

On 10-year anniversary of unsolved killing, Berkeley police offer $50,000 reward


BERKELEY — It was his 35th birthday, he was engaged to be married and had recently come to the United States. But all the hopes and dreams that Ignacio Celedón, a Chilean national known to his friends as Fito, must have had 10 years ago today were snuffed out with the pull of a trigger.

On the one decade anniversary of his slaying at Adeline and Emerson streets near the Berkeley BART station, police on Saturday announced the reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case has been increased to $50,000.

“Detectives remain hopeful that a member of the community will come forward with information. Even the smallest detail could prove critical in solving this case,” Berkeley police spokesman Byron White said in a statement.

Celedón and his fiance, Amber Nelson, were walking home from a night of dancing to celebrate his birthday when they were confronted by two robbers. Celedón was shot, and Nelson was punched in the face. Their attackers fled in a dark, older model sport utility vehicle, police said.

In a separate statement issued Saturday, the Chilean consulate in San Franciso called the unsolved killing a “high priority and a matter of concern for the Chilean government. We deeply regret the tragic death of an innocent young person.”

The Chilean government has, and will continue to work with Berkeley police on the case, the statement said.

“We request the community and witnesses of the assassination to provide to the Berkley police any information helpful to solve this murder.,” the statement said. “The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Consulate General of Chile in San Francisco will keep supporting and encouraging an expeditious investigation and prompt solution of this case so that the family of Mr. Celedón can find the peace they deserve.”

Police ask that anyone with information regarding this case call the Berkeley Police Department homicide unit at 510-981-5741 or the 24-hour non-emergency number of 510-981-5900.

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Author: Thomas Peele