Thursday, July 22, 2010
Norma Lopez is Dead
by Robert A. Waters
A week after she was abducted, the body of missing teenager Norma Lopez has been found. A resident in Moreno Valley was mowing a field when he discovered the decomposed remains.
While investigators did not release the cause of death, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Joseph Borja stated that Norma was identified through dental records. She lay face down in a grove of trees, and was wearing only her blue jeans.
After the kidnapped girl's parents were notified, Borja held a press conference. “I believe this has been made personal because we all have children,” he said. “It’s probably our worst nightmare that our kids can just be taken from a street and killed. We haven’t caught the suspect who killed Norma so obviously there is at least a murderer out there. So I would be vigilant, I would be aware. If I was a parent, I would keep track of my children.”
Cops have few leads. They are still searching for a green SUV seen speeding from the area where Norma was kidnapped. Investigators are asking the public for help and a reward of $35,000 has been offered.
Yesterday, after hearing that Norma's body had been found, stunned friends and neighbors gathered at Valley View High School. "We've had so many kids come in,” Principal Kristen Hunter said, “that I had to call the district to bring in the crisis response team. It was heartbreaking to see how much pain they were in. Some of them went to school with Norma since elementary school. They were hitting their fists on the table, saying ‘Why? Why?’”
Others gathered at the bleachers for an impromptu memorial for Norma. "I just want to say I miss you, Norma,” Caroline Benjamin said. “Nobody deserves this. She could have changed the world one day."
Posted by Robert A. Waters at 6:49 AM