Authorities find belongings, signs of struggle in search for missing Southern Calif. girlBy AP
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Evidence of abduction found for missing SoCal teen
MORENO VALLEY, Calif. — Deputies and detectives on Saturday searched for a Southern California teen girl missing for a third day, and authorities said evidence points to an abduction.
Personal items belonging to 17-year-old Norma Lopez and signs of a struggle were discovered by investigators in a field the girl often used as a shortcut, Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Borja said. He would not give further details on the evidence.
Lopez had finished a summer class at Valley View High School in Moreno Valley Thursday morning and was supposed to meet her sister Sonja Lopez and a friend at home afterward. When she didn’t appear, the girls searched for a few hours then called police.
Authorities Lopez had no apparent problems at home and didn’t think she had just run away.
“We do not believe she’s a runaway. If we did believe that, we wouldn’t be here today,” Borja told reporters at a news conference Friday. “If Norma’s out there, we’re looking for you. If you haven’t been taken, please call. We’re worried about you.”
Deputies are looking for a driver and passengers in a newer model green sport utility vehicle seen in the area Thursday.
Borja said the people in the vehicle were only being sought for questioning, and may not be suspects.
Lopez’s family pleaded to television cameras for the girl’s return.
“I just wanted to say if you know anything about her, just contact us in any way,” Sonja Lopez said through tears at the Friday news conference. “And if you’re watching, sis, please call us. We just need you back. We’re not mad at you or anything.”