Missing Calif. Teenager Found Dead in Moreno Valley; Murderer on the Loose

07/22/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley

Moreno Valley, CA—Police officials are warning parents across California to keep an eye on your children and take extra safety precautions as a killer is still on the loose. On July 15, 2010 a 17-year-old Southern California girl was abducted just a block from her school and was murdered, reports MSNBC.

The body of Norma Lopez was discovered on Tuesday, just five days after her disappearance. Officials found her decomposing body face-down, shirtless, clad in jeans in a grove of trees in the agricultural area on the eastern side of Moreno Valley. On Wednesday, officials confirmed that the body was indeed the missing teenager.

Lopez, who would have been a senior this year, was leaving a summer school class at Valley View High School, and was on her way to meet a friend. Somewhere along her trek to meet her friend, she was abducted. When she didn’t show up to meet her friend, her younger sister and the friend set out to look for her. About 1½ blocks from the school, they found some of her personal items in a field and immediately called police.

The field in which they located some of Lopez’s belongings is reportedly a well-known neighborhood shortcut, which is off a street that dead-ends at the base of boulder-studded hills cut with trails.

Investigators would not say what kinds of items were found in the field or the cause of death due to the ongoing investigation.

Police officials and the FBI have yet to identify a suspect, and are asking for the public’s help. A green SUV was seen speeding from the area they day the girl vanished. Police want to speak with the driver of that SUV.

“We haven’t caught the suspect who killed Norma so obviously there is at least a murderer out there, and so I would be vigilant, I would be aware,” Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Joseph Borja said. “If I was a parent, I would keep track of my children. I would do everything I could to ensure their safety.”

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California personal injury attorneys.

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