Crime

Oxnard mother found guilty of torturing and killing 3-year-old daughter

Parents arrested for murder in February 2018

OXNARD, Calif. - UPDATE 12/11/18 at 8:15 a.m.

An Oxnard mother was found guilty Monday of torturing and killing her 3-year-old daughter in 2015.

According to the Ventura County District Attorney's Office, Mayra Chavez lost custody of her daughter Kimberly Lopez after the baby tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana at birth. Kimberly was then placed into foster care for nine months while Chavez attended drug and parenting classes. Once Chavez regained custody of Kimberly, she began abusing her. This led to Kimberly being placed back into foster care. Chavez was able to regain custody of her child a second time but continued to torture and mistreat her. The abuse ultimately led to Kimberly's tragic death.

Kimberly's body was never recovered. Kimberly's father, Omar Lopez testified that he and Chavez disposed of Kimberly's body in Tijuana, Mexico.

On Monday, the Ventura County District Attorney's Office announced 27-year-old Chavez was found guilt of three felonies including second-degree murder and assault resulting in the death of a child and torture. 

Chavez will remain in custody at the Ventura County Jail until her sentencing which has been scheduled for March 14, 2019. She faces 47 years to life in state prison.


UPDATE

After over a year and a half long investigation, the case of missing three-year-old Kimberly Lopez gets a chilling update.

Oxnard Police have arrested Kimberly's grandmother, Maria De Jesus Lopez, 44, and the Ventura District Attorney's Office have filed conspiracy charges. The parents of Kimberly were arrested for murder on February 14, 2018. 

During the course of the investigation, detectives were able to gather sufficient evidence and information to believe that Kimberly was deceased and that her parents Mayra Chavez,26, and Omar Lopez,33, were responsible for her death. Detectives believe Kimberly was placed in a situation that resulted in her death while in the care of her parents and that Maria De Jesus Lopez had knowledge of her death and concealed that fact to authorities. 

Maria De Jesus is currently in custody at the Ventura Jail on a charge of conspiracy to commit a crime. Her bail has been set at $200,000.

If convicted Maria Lopez could face a maximum sentance of three years in custody.

On February 14, 2018, Mayra Chavez was charged with murder, child endangerment resulting in death, and torture. That same day, Omar Lopez was charged with murder and child endangerment.

Mayra is awaiting trial and Omar pleaded guilty to one count of felony child endangerment and one count of perjury in exchange for providing truthful testimony against Mayra.

If convicted of all charges, Mayra could face a maximum of 47 years to life in prison. Omar could face a maximum of 42 years to life in prison.

Kimberly was last seen on March 10, 2015, during a home visit by a Family Services social worker. An official police investigation was started on September 7, 2016, after social workers made several attempts to check on the well-being of Kimberly but were not being able to verify her location. Her parent's claimed she was living with relatives in Mexico.

Police have not released the details of how Kimberly died.


ORIGINAL STORY

Oxnard Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing three year-old girl.

The missing girl is Kimberly Lopez. She was last seen on March 10, 2015 at a residence in the 900 block of Denver place, in Oxnard.

Investigators believe Kimberly is in either California or Mexico.

Kimberly was last seen when she was in the custody and care of her father, Omar Misael Lopez of Oxnard.

Kimberly was previously a dependent child of the Ventura County Juvenile Court. Custody and care of Kimberly was given to Omar by the juvenile court.

After Omar completed the required services, the case was dismissed in March 2015.

Kimberly’s mother, Mayra Chavez Lopez, was given supervised home visits with Kimberly. The visits were to be supervised by Omar and Maria Lopez, Mayra’s mother. The last reported sighting of Kimberly was during a home visit by a Ventura County Children and Family Services (VCCFS) social worker on March 10, 2015, just after the case was dismissed.

After receiving a call concerned about her welfare in July of 2016, VCCFS social workers made several home visits to attempt to check on Kimberly. Omar and Mayra provided social workers with unverified information that Kimberly was living with relatives in Mexico.

After numerous continued home visits, neither Omar nor Mayra were able to provide verifiable documentation or proof that Kimberly was living with relatives in Mexico.

VCCFS notified the Oxnard Police Department on September 7, 2016 that Kimberly was missing and unaccounted for. A Missing Person report was taken and investigators immediately started looking for the whereabouts of Kimberly.

VCCFS in September of 2016 initiated a new juvenile dependency case on Kimberly, and the Ventura County Juvenile Court issued an order to take Kimberly back into protective custody when she is located.

The Oxnard Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit and Family Protection Unit, along with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, Ventura County Sheriff's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are all working to locate Kimberly Lopez.


Omar and Mayra are currently in custody on civil arrest warrants for failing to provide accurate information on the whereabouts of Kimberly. Omar and Mayra have relatives that reside in several different cities in Mexico.

Investigators know Omar and Mayra traveled to Mexico several times during the time period that Kimberly was last seen.

Kimberly Lopez is described as four years old, light-skinned Hispanic female. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She is approximately three-feet tall and probably weighs 40 to 50 pounds.

The Oxnard Police Department is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone with information that directly leads investigators to the whereabouts of Kimberly Lopez.

Investigators are requesting anyone with information on the location of Kimberly Lopez to call the tip line at (805) 200-2370. You can call anonymously and still provide valuable information to help investigators locate Kimberly. 


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