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Brother of missing Yuma girl charged in her disappearance
The older brother allegedly involved in the disappearance of a 10-year-old girl nearly three weeks ago was charged with three felonies on Monday, including kidnapping.
Richard Alvarez, 18, who was arrested in San Luis, Ariz., Wednesday morning, has also been charged with fraudulent schemes and artifices and custodial interference, in the disappearance of Damaris Herrera Lopez, who currently is believed to be in Mexico with her mother.
Lopez was last seen on Dec. 10 when her parents were exchanging custody at McDonald's Restaurant, 2550 S. 4th Ave. Her father has permanent custody.
The girl became upset at about 8 p.m. as the exchange was to take place, and ran toward the alley behind the adjacent YMCA.
According to the complaint filed against Alvarez, he was waiting in the alley when Damaris ran off and picked her up and drove her to Mexico the same night.
Attorney Vida Florez represented Alvarez during his arraignment and waved the formal reading of the complaint and further advisement of her client's rights during the brief court hearing held on Monday.
Alvarez was arraigned before Yuma Justice of the Peace David Cooper, who ordered his bond remain at $515,000, which had been set at a previous hearing.
Florez also asked the court for a condition of release and bond reduction hearing, but the judge informed her he would probably not have jurisdiction of the case by the time she was ready for a hearing and suggested she schedule them in Superior Court.
Cooper then set Alvarez's next court date, a preliminary hearing, for Jan. 2 at 4 p.m.
Yuma police believe Damaris’s mother, Chrystal Abren Lopez, has now also fled to Mexico and had knowledge of Damaris' whereabouts all along.
According to police, Damaris has been at a family member's home in San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., since the night she ran off.
Lopez was granted temporary custody of Herrera for 10 days after she filed a petition with the court and was supposed to be returning the child to her father the night Damaris ran off, according to court documents. Lopez and Damaris' father are in the process getting a divorce.
Lopez is facing similar charges as her son once she is arrested, police have stated.
Damaris is described as a 10-year-old female, 4 feet 8 inches tall and 78 pounds, with brown eyes and shoulder-length brown hair. Chrystal Lopez is described as a 41-year-old female, 5 feet 6 inches, 200 pounds, with brown hair and eyes.
YPD detectives are asking anyone who knows either one's whereabouts or has any information about this case to call Detective Tejeda or Sgt. Rodriguez at 783-4421 or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854.