The case of a missing New York City mother turned into a murder investigation after police identified a body found over the summer as Rachel Lopez.
Lopez's family reported her missing in September of 2019. Months later on July 27, 2020, the decomposed remains of the mother of four were found behind a building on Intervale Avenue in Longwood, police said. It's unclear how she ended up there or what happened when she disappeared over a year ago.
Lopez's family members, Victoria Rivera and Angie Meléndez, have spent the past months putting up flyers with a picture of the 47-year-old and searching for answers. They received the news of Lopez's death last week.
"The only thing they told us was that she died from blunt trauma to the head," Meléndez told Telemundo 47 on Tuesday.
Rivera, who is pregnant, became emotional as she spoke about how her mother will never get to meet her grandchild.
"Imagine losing your mom, you know? Who wants to lose their mom," she said in tears. The family will now have to prepare for a funeral and say a final goodbye. Rivera says she wants to let go of her in peace.
Police say they are searching for the person responsible for Lopez's death. So far, authorities have not identified any suspects.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).