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Suspect in Norma Lopez slaying is still awaiting charges

October 24, 2011 |  8:17 am

Police announce the arrest of Jesse Perez Torres in the slaying of Norma LopezThis post has been updated. See below for details.

The man arrested in connection with the abduction and killing of Norma Lopez, a 17-year-old Moreno Valley girl, is still awaiting formal charges, and the timing of his first court appearance apparently is still to be determined.

Jesse Perez Torres, 35, was arrested in Long Beach on Thursday in the abduction and slaying that rattled the community of Moreno Valley. Lopez was abducted on July 15, 2010, while walking across a vacant lot on her way home from a summer school biology class at Valley View High School, and her body was found five days later in a wheat field.

[Updated 9:12 a.m. Oct. 24: An earlier version of this post said Torres would be in court Monday. But John Hall, a spokesman for the Riverside County district attorney’s office, said charges have not been filed yet in the case. Although the Riverside County Superior Court calendar shows Torres  is scheduled for an arraignment, Hall said he is not sure why.]

"We are confident we have the suspect in custody. He's not out on the streets, and I think the community can breathe a sigh of relief," Riverside County sheriff's Capt. John Anderson said.

At the time of the killing, Torres was living a block from the high school. The back of his former two-story, brown stucco home on Creekside Way is visible from the campus.

Five months before Lopez was killed, Torres allegedly assaulted his wife and threatened to kill her, court records show. The two were living in Moreno Valley at the time.


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Photo: Police announce the arrest of Jesse Perez Torres in the slaying of Norma Lopez on Friday. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times