Terribly sad news out of Southern California, news that no one wanted to hear -- a body that was found in the area where teenager Norma Lopez was last seen is indeed her's. Police identified the body through dental records, according to Riverside County sheriff's spokesman Joseph Borja.
A man found the body Tuesday in a thicket of trees about three miles from the field where Norma's personal belongings were found. It was badly decomposed, which is why she could not be immediatelty identified and an autopsy was necessary.
The 17-year-old Lopez was on her way home from summer school in Moreno Valley, east of Los Angeles last Thursday, when she took her usual shortcut through the field. When she didn't arrive home, her sister and a friend searched for her. Several hours later they called police. Police found her belongings, and said signs of a struggle pointed to a kidnapping.
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Now the case is a homicide. "We will continue to follow every lead that we have," pledged the Sheriff's Department.