California Girl Norma Lopez Missing, Feared Kidnapped

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Police in Southern California are searching for a 17-year-old girl who vanished on her way home from school last week. Police say there are indications she was kidnapped.

Norma Lopez was coming home from summer school last Thursday in Moreno Valley, east of Los Angeles when she apparently took her usual shortcut through a field. When she didn't arrive home, her sister and a friend said they went to look for her. After several fruitless hours, they called police.

Police searched the field and found personal items belonging to Norma. Police say there was evidence of a struggle and a possible kidnapping.

"We do not believe she's a runaway. If we did believe that, we wouldn't be here today," Sgt. Joe Borja of the Riverside County sheriff's office said at a news conference on Friday. "If Norma's out there, we're looking for you. If you haven't been taken, please call. We're worried about you."

At the same news conference, Norma's sister pleaded for her safe return.

"I just wanted to say if you know anything about her, just contact us in any way," said Sonja Lopez. "And if you're watching, sis, please call us. We just need you back. We're not mad at you or anything."

Police don't have much to go on, but they say a newer model green sport utility vehicle was seen in the area around the time Norma disappeared. Police are looking to speak to the SUV's driver, as well as the passengers in the vehicle. They are not considered suspects at this point -- police say they could be witnesses to what happened.