Skip to main content

Body found in Southern California confirmed to be missing teen

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
Dead teen's sister asks killer to give up
  • Norma Lopez, 17, disappeared last Thursday
  • A body found Tuesday afternoon was confirmed Wednesday to be the missing teen
  • Police are now treating the case as a homicide investigation

-- iReport: Friends, schoolmates talk about Norma Lopez
-- iReporter covers press conference of teen's body found

(CNN) -- A body found near where a California teen vanished last week on her way home from summer school was confirmed Wednesday to be that of 17-year-old Norma Lopez, a Riverside County Sheriff's Department spokesman said.

The identification was made through dental records, according to Sgt. Joe Barja.

Authorities are now treating the case as a homicide investigation, and are searching for any witnesses or information leading to a suspect.

Barja declined to reveal the cause of death or reveal any injuries Lopez may have sustained.

Lopez was last seen Thursday leaving summer class at Valley View High School in Moreno Valley, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles.

She had planned to meet her younger sister and a friend at home. It is believed Lopez, who would have been a senior in the fall, took a short cut through a dirt field to reach the family's residence.

Her sister contacted the police when Lopez never returned home.

The body was discovered around 3 p.m. Tuesday, said Deputy Melissa Nieburger of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Nieburger said the body was found about two miles from where Lopez vanished.

Police are looking for a green "SUV type vehicle" that was seen driving away from the area at the time of Lopez's disappearance.

CNN's Gabriel Falcon contributed to this report.