Slain CA teen's sister urges killer to surrender - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Slain CA teen's sister urges killer to surrender

Posted: Updated:
Moreno Valley residents wearing T-shirts of missing teen Norma Lopez, react as authorities confirm that a body was identified through dental records as Norma Lopez.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) Moreno Valley residents wearing T-shirts of missing teen Norma Lopez, react as authorities confirm that a body was identified through dental records as Norma Lopez. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — The grieving older sister of a 17-year-old girl who was abducted and slain appealed publicly to the unknown killer Thursday to explain why the teen was targeted and to surrender.

"The person that did this, why? Why her?" Elizabeth Lopez, 18, said as she stood outside the family home with her father, little brother and one of her little sisters. "I don't want anybody to go through this, but why her? She had never done anything to anyone."

Norma Lopez was abducted last week while walking to meet a friend after a summer school class. Her body was found five days later.

"Just get the touch of heart and turn yourself in 'cause you killed her when we want her here home. Just turn yourself in. That's all we want," Elizabeth Lopez said as her sister Sonia embraced her.

Investigators conducted vehicle checkpoints and questioned sex offenders as the hunt for the killer expanded.

Authorities questioned drivers on a street outside the school, which is near the site where Norma Lopez's belongings were found last week. Detectives hoped to find someone who saw the girl close to the time she was abducted.

Investigators also began contacting 14 registered sex offenders listed on the Megan's Law website who live within a 2-mile radius of the high school where Lopez was last seen.

The raven-haired teen disappeared July 15 after leaving a class at Valley View High School, where she would have been a senior this year. Authorities said she was going to meet a friend.

When she didn't show up, her younger sister and a friend went to look for her, found some of her personal items in a field 1½ blocks from the school and called authorities, said Sgt. Joseph Borja, a spokesman for the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

The field, a well-known neighborhood shortcut, is off a street that dead-ends at the base of boulder-studded hills cut with trails.

Searchers fruitlessly covered the area for several days before Lopez's body was discovered Tuesday by a man clearing brush in another rural field about two miles away.

Police want to speak with the driver of a green SUV seen speeding from the area the day Lopez vanished.

Authorities have declined to release her cause of death, citing the ongoing investigation, and would not say if she was sexually assaulted. Her decomposed body was identified using dental records.

Moreno Valley is a city of 186,000 about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, between March Air Reserve Base and a swath of unforgiving, rugged terrain known as The Badlands.

The teen's disappearance drew wide attention across Southern California, where the high-profile abduction-murders of two other teenage girls in San Diego County — one jogging alone this year and the other walking to school in 2009 — led to a sex offender who ultimately admitted to the killings and is now imprisoned.

Lopez's best friend Giovanna Gutierrez, 17, said she was supposed to meet Lopez at the high school for senior class pictures the day she disappeared.

"She didn't have any problems. She was always full of laughter," Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez recalled how Lopez and her two sisters, who attended high school together, would choreograph salsa and merengue dance routines for the students' Latin American cultural club and perform them at pep rallies.

About 2,000 people showed up Wednesday at a candlelight vigil for Lopez at the high school.

"It shouldn't have happened to her," Gutierrez said. "She had a bright future ahead of her."

Lopez's parents, who are originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, were being assisted by the Mexican consulate, said Carolina Zaragoza, head of the consulate's local office.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.