California Mother Gets Life in Prison for Murder of 3-Year-Old Daughter

May 1, 2019 Updated: May 1, 2019

A California mother has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder and torture of her 3-year-old daughter.

Almost four years after she killed her daughter and hid her remains in Mexico, Mayra Chavez, 27, was sentenced to 37 years to life on April 30, according to the Ventura County district attorney’s office.

She had been found guilty in December 2018 of second degree murder, assault resulting in death of a child, and torture.

Kimberley Lopez died in June 2015 just three days after her third birthday.

Chavez had yanked out he legs from under her to change her diaper, according to KTL, causing the child to bang her head. She suffered two seizures, but her family did not seek medical treatment and she died later that day.

Chavez tried to cover up the death when authorities began to investigate in 2016, and pleaded guilty earlier this month to perjury relating to false testimony she gave in 2016.

Chavez was finally arrested in January 2018, along with her boyfriend.

Kimberly Lopez. (Oxnard Police Department)

Kimberly’s grandmother, Maria De Jesus Lopez, 45, later admitted to helping Chavez take the body of the 3-year-old to Mexico, where Chavez tried to dispose of her remains with the help of her 34-year-old boyfriend who is also the girl’s father.

Lopez was sentenced to 180 days in prison after pleading guilty to helping cover up the death.

The mother of missing Oxnard girl Kimberly Lopez pleaded guilty to perjury charges this week, months after being found guilty in Kimberly 's death.

Posted by Ventura County Star on Friday, April 12, 2019

By coincidence, the father, Omar Misael Lopez, shares the same surname as the grandmother, but she is Chavez’s mother, not his.

According to the District Attorney: “Upon learning of Kimberly’s death, Ms. Lopez assisted Chavez and Omar Lopez in covering up Kimberly’s death by lending the couple her car and providing them with money so they could dispose of Kimberly’s remains in Tijuana, Mexico. Kimberly’s body was never recovered.”

In a further attempt to cover their tracks, the parents later went back to to dig up their daughter’s body and destroy her remains, which have not been found.

Mayra Chavez. (Oxnard Police Department)

Kimberly died after being returned to her mother’s care for the second time since she was born. She was placed in foster care at 9 months old when she tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana, according to authorities. She was returned to her mother’s care, but brought back into foster care when her mother started to abuse her.

Kimberly Lopez. (Oxnard Police Department)

Chavez was able to regain custody for a second time after she took drug and parenting classes. But when her daughter was returned, she continued the abuse, according to authorities.

“This abuse ultimately led to her death,” said a statement from the District Attorney. “Omar Lopez, Kimberly’s father, testified that he and Chavez disposed of Kimberly’s body in Tijuana, Mexico.”

Omar Lopez. (Oxnard Police Department)

The father, Omar Lopez, pleaded guilty last April to one count of felony child endangerment, and one count of perjury for his part in the death.

He has yet to be sentenced, but according to the district attorney he is expected to be sentenced to 14 years.

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