IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Oklahoma woman arrested in 1993 killing of 'beloved' California shop owner

Shu Ming Tang's killing "shook" the city of San Carlos, an official said.

An Oklahoma woman is in custody in a 1993 cold case killing that rocked a California town and drew national attention after it was featured on the TV show "America's Most Wanted," authorities said Thursday.

Rayna Hoffman-Ramos, 61, was arrested in the slaying of Shu Ming Tang, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jacob Trickett told reporters.

Tang was found suffering from a single gunshot wound on April 26, 1993, at Devonshire Little Store, Trickett said.

"This was a cold case for nearly three decades," Sheriff Carlos Bolanos said. "Today I can announce that we made an arrest, and justice for Mr. Tang’s family is at hand."

Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos announces the successful closure of the cold case murder of Shu Min Tang, after nearly three decades.
Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos announces the successful closure of the cold case murder of Shu Min Tang, after nearly three decades. @SMCSheriff via Twitter

San Carlos Mayor Sara McDowell described Tang as a husband, father and "beloved" shop owner who ran a decades-old corner store in the San Francisco Bay Area town of San Carlos.

"His death shook the community," she said.

Detectives at the time believed the killing was linked to a robbery gone wrong involving an adult woman, Trickett said. Later that year, Tang's killing appeared on "America's Most Wanted" — but the case continued to elude authorities.

In 2018, investigators and analysts with the San Mateo Sheriff's Office began reviewing the case and eventually identified Hoffman-Ramos, who lived in San Mateo at the time of the killing, as a suspect.

Searches carried out earlier this month at two locations in Oklahoma and Sacramento, California, revealed "additional leads and evidence," Trickett said, adding that authorities in Oklahoma then arrested Hoffman-Ramos.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Hoffman-Ramos has a lawyer.

She is being held in Washington County, Oklahoma, and is awaiting extradition on a no-bail warrant in Tang’s death, Trickett said.

Trickett declined to provide additional details about what led investigators to identify her as a suspect, saying he didn't want to compromise authorities' investigation.

That investigation so far suggests that detectives' initial theory about a robbery gone wrong was correct, Trickett said.

CORRECTION (March 25, 2022, 8:30 a.m. ET): A headline on a previous version of this article misstated the year in which a cold case killing took place. It was in 1993, not 1989.