Ventura County

Woman Faces Conspiracy Charges in Granddaughter's Disappearance

Detectives believe the child was exposed to a situation that led to the child's death

What to Know

  • The grandmother of missing 3-year-old faces charges of conspiracy, and a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
  • The child's father has pleaded guilty to child endangerment and perjury.
  • The child's mother is awaiting trial.

A 44-year-old Oxnard woman faces conspiracy charges in the disappearance of her 3-year-old granddaughter who's presumed dead, even though investigators haven't found a body, police said.

María De Jesús López was arrested Monday in connection with the disappearance of Kimberly López, according to a news release from the Oxnard Police Department. The suspect is believed to have known about the girl's whereabouts and helped cover up the crime, police said.

The case began after a social worker reported the girl missing to police in September 2016.

Kimberly was last seen by a social worker when she was in the custody of her father, Omar López. The father had legal custody of the child, authorities said. Kimberly's mother, Mayra Chávez, had home visits with the girl, supervised by the father and grandmother, officials said.

Oxnard Police Sgt. Scott Aaron said that the girl's father, Omar Misael Lopez, has admitted that his daughter was dead.

Chávez and Omar Lopez were arrested for failing to tell investigators where their daughter was. They were charged with murder in February, said Ventura County Senior District Attorney John Barrick.

Omar pleaded guilty to one count of felony child endangerment and one count of perjury in exchange for testifying against the mother, according to a news release by Ventura County District Attorney Office.

The case against the mother is pending.

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