More than a decade ago, Imelda Sierra buried her 15-year-old daughter Brenda, the youngest of her three daughters.
Brenda was kidnapped while on her way to school in Montebello on Oct. 18, 2002. Her body was found bludgeoned in the San Bernardino Mountains the next day.
The case has remained unresolved for more than a decade. Now a 27-year-old woman faces kidnap and murder charges in the case. Rosemary Chavira, who was the same age as Brenda at the time of the killing, coordinated the kidnapping, prosecutors said. Chavira pleaded not guilty to the charges in court on March 3.
Local news from across Southern California
Deputies said they expect to announce three more arrests in the case within the month.
In 2012, the year deputies released composite sketches of two men sought in the case and identified a third man as a person-of-interest, Brenda's family spoke with NBC4 sister station Telemundo52 about the pain of losing the youngest of three daughters.
Fabiola Saavedra, the eldest, treated Brenda as her baby.
"Not one day passes that I don’t think of her," Saavedra said. "Not one day passes that I don’t promise that I will continue fighting."
Added her mother, Imelda Sierra: "She was an angel."
When deputies announced in 2012 that they had developed new information from the community about the case, the family's hopes soared.
One of the men identified in the case was believed to be in Mexico and had an arrest warrant in Los Angeles for narcotics charges. Two other young men were believed to be gang members.
Sketches of those men were shown with the plea that if anyone were to recognize them, to let authorities know.
"That day I will feel glorified, that my daughter got justice," Brenda's mother said.
Erick Mendoza and Sofia Pop contributed to this report.