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Families and Friends Plead for Return of Missing 15-Year-Old Girl Believed to be with Homicide Suspects

April 22, 2019 - 7:22 am

The search for a 15-year-old girl, traveling with her mother and a boyfriend wanted for murder, is expanding through the Southern California Area and may extend into Nevada or Mexico.

Relatives and friends of a missing 15-year-old South Bay girl are appealing for her safe return. Her father pleaded for her safe return at a vigil Sunday night.

Alora Benitez is believed to be traveling with her mother and her mother's ex-husband who are wanted for murder.  Her father tells CBS-2 it's been a nightmare.

The girl's disappearance sparked an Amber Alert, and the car the three were believed to be traveling in was found abandoned in San Diego County on Friday.  

An Amber Alert was issued last week for a 15-year-old girl who was last seen with her mother and a man, who are both suspects in the killing of a man whose body was found in the front seat of a car in Carson.

Alora Benitez was last seen at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Torrance leaving with Maricela Mercado, 40, and Roman Cerratos, 39, in the white, 2013 4-door BMW sedan, with Nevada license plate "MARIMAR," according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Their direction of travel was unknown.

According to KCAL9, the teen and her mother lived in an apartment in Redondo Beach, where the woman was seen on Wednesday moving items from the residence. A family car remains parked at the location, Channel 9 reported.

The teen is Hispanic, 5 feet 2 and weighs 100 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Mercado is 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Cerratos is 6-foot-1 and weighs 210 pounds, bald with brown eyes.

They are suspects in the killing of a man found dead Tuesday in the front seat of a white Audi parked in the 400 block of East Carson Plaza Drive. His name was being withheld pending notification of his relatives.

Anyone who spots the girl, her mother or Cerratos or the sedan they are believed to be riding in should call 911 immediately, according to the sheriff's department, which said the adults should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on the suspects' whereabouts was asked to call sheriff's homicide Detectives Lawler or Blagg at (323) 890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

-CNS and KNX 1070