Details of Disappearance Kimberly was removed from her mother's custody after birth, but later returned to her. In 2013, she was taken again after Ventura County Children and Family Services (CFS) workers found signs of abuse, including injuries all over her body in various stages of healing. A CFS worker later testified that Kimberly's mother, Mayra Chavez-Lopez, didn't have a strong bond with her daughters.
Eventually Kimberly was placed in the care of her father, Omar Lopez. Mayra was allowed to visit her; the visits were supposed to be supervised by Omar and his mother. Photos of Omar and Mayra are posted with this case summary. Kimberly was last seen in Oxnard, California in the summer of 2015. More than a year later, someone called CFS and said they were concerned about Kimberly, and asked them to check on her.
CFS workers attempted to do so several times, Omar and Mayra told them she was staying with relatives in Mexico. They didn't have any documentation or other evidence to support their story, however, and when authorities located the man Kimberly was supposedly staying with, he said he had no idea where she was.
In September 2016, social workers filed a missing persons report. On October 7, 2016, both of Kimberly's parents were both jailed for civil contempt of court for their non-cooperation with the investigation. In August 2017, they were both charged with felony perjury.
Authorities initially stated that they were simply trying to verify Kimberly's well-being and thought she might still be in California, or she may be in Mexico, specifically Tijuana, Los Reyes, Michoacan or Guadalajara. However, in February 2018, her parents were charged with second-degree murder in her case. Mayra was initially charged with assault and torture.
Police believe Kimberly died on June 22, 2015. Omar made a statement to them in August 2017 and said that on June 21, the child fell on the floor and hit her head while her mother was changing her pants.
According to Omar, Kimberly didn't cry or complain after the injury, but she subsequently had two seizures, the first one about 30 to 45 minutes after she hit her head. Her parents didn't seek medical attention, and she died that same night; Omar tried to revive her with CPR but her body was in rigor mortis by then. This was in the early hours of June 22.
Her parents took her body to Tijuana and left it on a small hill, wrapped in a blue plastic bag. After dumping it, Omar and Mayra out drinking at a couple of bars.
In April 2018, Omar pleaded guilty to perjury and a lesser charge of a child endangerment. He agreed to testify against Mayra at her upcoming trial; if he does so, the murder charge will be dropped. When Omar answered investigators' questions about Kimberly's life and death, his statements were reportedly "horrifying" and much worse than the prosecution had thought.
In July 2018, Kimberly's grandmother, Maria De Jesus Lopez, was charged with conspiracy to destroy and conceal evidence in Kimberly's death. Authorities believe she lent Omar and Mayra her own vehicle and some money so they could make the trip to Tijuana, knowing that Kimberly was dead. A photo of Maria is posted with this case summary.
Omar will serve a maximum fourteen years in prison as per the terms of the plea agreement. Mayra is awaiting trial for second-degree murder, torture and assault. Kimberly's remains have never been found.
- Oxnard Police Department
Updated 9 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 30, 2018; details of disappearance updated.