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DA: No charges filed yet in Norma Lopez case

Jesse Perez Torres, 35, was arrested in the murder of 17-year-old Norma Lopez, who disappeared July 2010.

October 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Charges will not be filed Monday against the man suspected in the killing of teenager Norma Lopez.

The Riverside district attorney said Jesse Perez Torres, 35, will be released from custody and then immediately rearrested on the same charges.

That has to happen because Torres was not charged within 48 hours of his initial arrest. Authorities will then have 48 more hours for charges to be filed.

Torres was arrested last week, about 15 months after Lopez disappeared in Moreno Valley. The 35-year-old was expected to be charged with murder, kidnapping to commit rape and assault.

Lopez disappeared July 2010 while walking to a friend's house from her high school in broad daylight. Five days later, her body was found in a field.

Her disappearance and death attracted national attention, and the search for her killer brought fear to the community. Many students have said that they still have their parents pick them up after school, and they never walk alone.

Torres was arrested in his Long Beach home on Thursday. Authorities announced they were confident they had the right suspect.

Torres, his wife, and two toddlers lived within a block from Lopez's high school at the time of her death.

Detectives will not reveal how they linked Torres to her death. He is being held on $1 million bail.

It was earlier reported that arraignment would be on Monday, but because charges have not been filed yet, an arraignment has not been scheduled.

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