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Missing California teen found dead after she and her boyfriend subjected to ‘random’ attack

 August 23, 2023

Andrea Vazquez, a 19-year-old teenager from California, was found dead in a park following what has been described as a random act of violence, as the Daily Mail reported.

Vazquez's body was located in a field off Alessandro Boulevard and Merwin Street in Moreno Valley around midday on Tuesday, according to Whittier Police,

Suspect in Custody

Law enforcement officials in Whittier acted promptly, arresting suspect Gabriel Esparza, 20, at his workplace in Lakewood.

Esparza has been detained on charges of murder and kidnapping and is currently not eligible for bail.

Investigations led to the recovery of a potential weapon linked to the crime as well as Esparza's 2013 white Toyota Tacoma truck.

Night of the Incident

Authorities stated that Vazquez and her boyfriend seemed to have been "randomly targeted" by the suspect at Penn Park.

Thomas Mattsson of the Whittier Police revealed that there seemed to be no prior relationship or connection between the suspected assailant and the victim, as NBC Los Angles reported.

Officials outlined that the violent event transpired in the parking lot of Penn Park shortly after midnight on Sunday.

A statement from the police explained, "An adult male witness reported that while at the park with an adult female companion, an armed suspect approached their vehicle and fired a weapon in their direction."

The same witness informed the police that he fled from the vehicle, and upon his return, he discovered blood and noticed Vazquez was no longer there.

Edlyn Vazquez, Andrea's sister, said the witness was her sister's boyfriend, and upon seeing the armed individual, had momentarily left to seek assistance, as ABC7 reported.

"As he turned his back to ask for help, in that moment, my sister was kidnapped,' Edlyn said.

The remains of Vazquez were discovered on Monday night in a vegetated area in Moreno Valley.

Remembering Andrea

Enrolled in fashion design at Fullerton College, Andrea also worked at a shopping mall in Cerritos.

Veronica Becerra, the aunt of Vazquez, told KTLA that her death has devastated the family.

"She was an angel. I am left only with her smile and her face," Becerra said.

Enrique Vazquez, the victim's father, said in tears. "I lost my daughter, and I can't describe my pain."