A hit from a DNA database directly links Jesse Perez Torres to one of the crime scenes associated with the kidnapping and death of 17-year-old Norma Lopez, the district attorney’s chief deputy Michael Soccio said Tuesday.
The DNA derived from a former domestic violence incident involving the accused.
Torres, who was arrested Oct. 20 and has since been held in connection with Lopez’s death, did not enter a plea during a scheduled arraignment Tuesday at Riverside Superior Court.
Torres’ newly appointed public defendants were given time to look over the case’s new findings, according to the district attorney’s office.
Torres' arraignment was rescheduled for Nov. 16.
A hearing on whether media would be allowed to cover the case was held earlier Thursday, with Judge Richard T. Fields ultimately deciding that coverage was acceptable and would promote openness.
Fields determined, however, that recorded audio and video showing Torres in chains would not be allowed.
Lopez's family was in attendance for Thursday’s proceedings.
Lopez disappeared in July 2010 while walking from summer school to a friend’s house in Moreno Valley. She was found dead five days later in a vacant field in the same community.
Police arrested Torres, 35, in Long Beach on Oct. 20 in connection with Lopez’s death but he was not charged.
Riverside County Sheriffs released Torres Monday in conjunction with a state law that requires suspects be released if charges are not filed within 48 hours of arrest. The accused was immediately arrested again on the same charges.