Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Missing in California

Norma Lopez was wearing this black and white blouse when she went missing

The Search for Norma Lopez
by Robert A. Waters

In Los Angeles, Lola, an African gray parrot, is missing. The bird flew its coop on June 28. Searchers have combed the Hollywood hills for weeks looking for the lost bird. There have been possible sightings of a parrot that looks like Lola, but nothing definite has been found to confirm that she is still in the area. Traveling billboards, like Amber Alerts, roll up and down the streets advising the populace about the runaway. Lola’s owners have even contacted a psychic who recommended having a séance to try to summon the spirit of the missing bird.

There was no Amber Alert for Norma Lopez, although in all fairness, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department jumped on the case as soon as they were notified. On July 15, the seventeen-year-old student vanished on her way home from Valley View High School after taking a summer class.

Shortly after ten that morning, Norma began walking home. She headed south on Nason Street. After turning onto Dracaea Avenue, Norma took a shortcut through a field. She was just a few hundred yards from her home on Cottonwood Avenue when she disappeared. She wore a black and white sleeveless blouse and dark blue “skinny” jeans.

Norma’s sister, Sonja, and a friend, were waiting for her to arrive. Sergeant Joe Borja of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, described what happened next. “[Norma] had plans to meet her sister and another friend,” he said. “When she didn’t arrive, they began looking for her. They looked for approximately two hours. They looked in the dirt field and along the trail that she normally walks through and found some property belonging to her.”

There were signs of a struggle, Borja said. Although he wouldn’t divulge to reporters what items were found, he stated that "they’re personal belongings and they do belong to her. We’ve confirmed that. [Norma] has never been in trouble [and] she’s never run away in the past.”

He concluded that she had likely been abducted.

Searchers combed the neighborhood, then branched out into the hills surrounding the community. Detectives spoke with possible witnesses and learned that a newer-model green SUV was seen speeding from the area at about the time of Norma’s disappearance.

A $ 7,500 reward has been posted.

Norma’s sister is the spokeswoman for the family. “We miss her and we want her home safe,” Sonja said at a recent news conference.

Here’s hoping Norma Lopez comes home soon.

And here’s also hoping that Lola, the wayward yet much-loved parrot, will return to her grieving family.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

thanx 4 the article i'm glad people can see the lack of importance this case has received. its disgraceful. Norma deserves an amber alert it was never sent out and the lack media and law enforcment involvment is disgusting. what if this was your daughter? im saddened by the tragedy and disgusted with the lack of efforts put forth. office max was even charging 4cents a copy for the missing fliers. really? you can't support the community that you operate in? walmart copied fliers for us free and however many we needed. thank you walmart! we neeed more help like wamart provided. get it together people!