MORENO VALLEY, Calif. (KTLA) -- A Long Beach man accused of murdering 17-year old Norma Lopez is due back in court March 28 for a preliminary hearing
Jesse Perez Torres pleaded not guilty last November in the murder of the Moreno Valley teenager.
He is charged with one count of murder with a special circumstance allegation of kidnapping, which making him eligible for the death penalty.
Prosecutors say they got a DNA match in the case that linked Torres to DNA found on Norma's body.
Dist. Atty.'s spokesman John Hall said the agency will not provide any more details about the DNA evidence, only that there was a "hit" directly linking Torres to one of the crime scenes.
Torres also owned an SUV that matched the description of a vehicle a witness saw at the site of the kidnapping, a vacant lot less than 200 yards from Torres' suburban home.
The witness told authorities the vehicle was a green SUV, which became a focal point in the initial investigation.
Lopez was abducted in the middle of the afternoon while walking home from a summer school biology class at Valley View High School on July 15, 2010.
Her body was found in a nearby field five days later.
Investigators said they found some of Norma's belongings, as well as signs of a struggle, in a vacant field along Cottonwood Avenue, a popular shortcut among students.
At the time of the crime, Torres lived in a home on a Moreno Valley street that Lopez walked past.
Torres moved to Long Beach in August 2010.
He was previously charged with felony spousal abuse and assault three months before Normas disappearance, but the charges were dropped.
Preliminary Hearing Date Set for Suspect in Norma Lopez Murder
Police say DNA evidence linked Jesse Perez Torres to the crime.
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