CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 1991 |
It was some years ago. But I could never forget the photograph. It was of Patricia Lopez, a 9-year-old Santa Ana girl who had disappeared and was later found beaten to death in the Santa Ana River bed. To look at the photograph is to believe in innocence. In it, Patricia is smiling. Her long, dark hair rests over her left shoulder in one big braid. Her left cheek has the hint of a dimple. Then there are the eyes: dark, bright and as wide as outdoors.
May 14, 1989
I knew there was a reason for reruns. Without reruns, KTTV could not have played 10 commercial-free hours of "I Love Lucy" on April 29. Lucille Ball was a brilliant comedienne who will be missed by millions. Patricia Lopez, Riverside
June 5, 1987
Police and volunteers combed a Santa Ana neighborhood Thursday, looking for clues to the whereabouts of 9-year-old Patricia Lopez, missing since she left Monte Vista Elementary School the day before. The third-grader was last seen by a teacher about 2:50 p.m. Wednesday. Patricia is 4 feet tall, with long, dark hair worn braided or straight. She was last seen wearing a yellow-flowered blouse, black pants, blue jacket and white tennis shoes. The possibility of kidnaping, Police Sgt.
July 7, 1987
A reward fund has been established for information leading to the killer of a 9-year-old Santa Ana schoolgirl, authorities said. The Southland Corp., owner of 7-Eleven convenience stores, has donated $1,000, Santa Ana Police Lt. Robert Chavez said. The fund to help find the killer of Patricia Lopez is being handled by the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center in Orange.
June 10, 1987
Santa Ana police said today that Patricia Lopez, the 9-year-old Santa Ana girl beaten to death near her school, was not abducted but walked or accepted a ride to the dry river bed where her body was found last Wednesday. Police said witnesses saw Patricia walking alone along the flood channel. The same witnesses also gave investigators a description of a man who may be a suspect: a Latino in his 30s with a thick mustache, 5-feet-9 and stocky, Santa Ana Police Lt. Robert Chavez said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 16, 2007 |
The badly beaten body of a 9-year-old girl was discovered in a storm drain by a group of children in 1987 only a short distance from the Santa Ana elementary school where she was last seen leaving her third-grade class. Stumped, authorities theorized that Patricia Lopez might have been killed by gang members, whose presence was increasing rapidly in Santa Ana in those days. One of the girl's brothers had been grazed on the forehead by a bullet in a gang dispute, lending weight to the theory.