DONA ANA - Standing near the tiny, cage-covered grave at the Doña Ana Cemetery, you can hear the sound of school bus schedule changes over the public address system at Doña Ana Elementary.
Brianna Mariah Lopez might have been among the second- and third-graders at school Friday afternoon. She would have turned 9 years old today, Valentine's Day.
Brianna was five months old when she died July 19, 2002, after having been raped, thrown, bitten and brutalized by her father, Andrew Walters, then 21, and uncle, Steven Lopez, then 19. They and Brianna's mother, Stephanie Lopez, then 19, were convicted of child abuse (or, in Stephanie Lopez's case, failing to report it) and remain in prison.
Read more in the Las Cruces Sun-News.