Woman Sentenced to 37 Years to Life for Murder of 3-Year-Old Daughter

A 27-year-old Oxnard woman was sentenced to 37 years to life in prison for the murder of her 3-year-old daughter whose body has never been found, prosecutors said.

Mayra Alejandra Chavez was found guilty in December in the torture-murder of her daughter, Kimberly Chavez Lopez. Chavez pleaded guilty to three counts of perjury for lying about Kimberly's death in 2016 when authorities were searching for Kimberly, prosecutors said.

Chavez lost custody of Kimberly because the girl tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana at birth, officials said. She was placed into foster care, then returned to her mother's custody after she took drug and parenting classes.

Once she got custody of Kimberly again, she began to abuse her, prosecutors said. Because of the abuse, Kimberly was placed into foster care again, officials said. She was returned to her mother again, but Chavez continued to torture and mistreat the girl, prosecutors said.

"This abuse ultimately led to Kimberly's tragic death," prosecutors said.

Omar Lopez, Kimberly's father, testified that he and Chavez disposed of Kimberly's body in Tijuana.

Lopez is faces 14 years in prison when he is expected to be sentenced later this year, officials said.

Kimberly's grandmother Maria De Jesus Lopez was sentenced to 180 days in jail last month for conspiring with her daughter and Lopez to cover up Kimberly's murder.

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