Brenda Sierra, 15, disappeared on Oct. 18, 2002 while walking to school in Montebello. Her body was found 50 miles away off a road in brush high in the San Bernardino Mountains the next day.
For years the case went cold. A $150,000 reward for information leading to three men expired. No arrests were made. Twelve years later, a former classmate of Brenda at Schurr High School who was also 15 at the time, was arrested and now faces kidnap and murder charges in connection with the slaying.
This is a timeline of events in the life of Brenda Sierra.
Top news of the day
July 15, 1987: Brenda Sierra is born in Los Angeles, the second youngest of two sisters and two brothers. See more
July 2002: Brenda celebrates her quinceanera, the coming-of-age celebration for Latinas, with her close friends. "It was beautiful," said her friend Maria Fonseca, who was there. "It's what every 15-year-old girl dreams about."
Oct. 18, 2002: Brenda disappears while walking to school. Her family realizes she was missing when she didn't show up for a hair appointment. Her sister contacts her friends who say she missed her ride to school. Her friends and family make missing-persons fliers and distribute them door-to-door in their neighborhood.
Oct. 19, 2002: Body of teen girl is found in the San Bernardino Mountains.
Oct. 21, 2002: The body is identified as that of Brenda's. The cause of death is blunt force trauma. See more
Oct. 26, 2002: Brenda is buried at Resurrection Cemetery in Montebello. See more
Jan. 27, 2003: Despite increasing an initial $5,000 reward to $150,000 — and even after a series of annual community vigils near Brenda's home on the anniversary of her death — the case goes cold. See more
October 2003: A year after her disappearance and death, friends hold a tribute to Brenda on the high school campus.
June 23, 2005: Brenda is expected to graduate from high school. Classmates leave a seat open for her during the graduation ceremony and the principal announces her name and gives her diploma to her sister. The band director plays a song on piano that he composed for Brenda.
April 4, 2008: The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department takes over the case from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. See more
June 30, 2009: Then-LA County Supervisor Gloria Molina announces an extension of the $150,000 reward for information leading to Brenda's killers. "Until we catch her killer, we're not giving up." See more
March 31, 2012: Deputies issue a bulletin seeking help to find three men in connection with Brenda's murder. "Not a day goes by when I don't think about her," her family says. See more
Feb. 27, 2015: Rosemary Chavira is arrested near her home in Lancaster in connection with the slaying. See more
March 3, 2015: Chavira is charged in the case and deputies say they plan to press charges against three other suspects within 30 days. See more
June 5, 2015: Students celebrate Brenda's life at Schurr High School in Montebello during an award ceremoney naming a scholarship in her honor. See more
July 29, 2015: Three reputed gang members are charged in Brenda Sierra's killing. See more
Aug. 24, 2015: Three people plead not guilty in Brenda's slaying. See more