Lopez disappeared in July 2010 as she was walking home from a summer class at Valley View High School.
The teenager took a shortcut through a field and authorities believe that's where she was abducted. They found signs of a struggle and some personal items belonging to Lopez there.
Her body was found five days later about two miles from the school.
Authorities said Friday they arrested 35-year-old Jesse Torres for kidnapping and murder Thursday morning at his home in Long Beach.
Records show Torres used to live right across the street from Lopez's high school.
Torres was arrested for spousal battery in 2010, but that case was dismissed when the alleged victim refused to testify.
Martin Lopez, the victim's father, told Eyewitness News that he's happy his daughter is getting justice and that the police did not just drop the case.
Neighbors were not surprised by news of the arrest.
"The way he acted, the stuff he asked about was really weird," said neighbor David Silva.
The news of an arrest was first posted Thursday night on a Facebook page put together by Lopez's family.