Baby Brianna

Please Remember Me!

THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH is a true story of the short and tragic life of Brianna Lopez.

The story of 5 month old Baby Brianna is a hard one, but it is the ugly reality of child abuse.  Violent family members caused her death while others hid what they knew was going on. Brianna Lopez

She was beaten and raped by her own family.

Her father and uncle threw her to the ceiling and watched as she hit the ground, over and over again.  “They raped her; they beat her,” said District Attorney Susana Martinez who prosecuted the case.  “Literally bruised from head to toe, from the top of her head all throughout her body all the way to the big toe on her right foot.  She had bite marks on her face, cheek, head, arms, legs, chest, torso, everywhere.”  After her arrest, her mother admitted to biting her baby repeatedly.

“She sustained massive injuries, both internal as well as external.  She had bruising all over her head and face, and her little fingers and toes were lacerated,” said Detective Lindell Wright who was the first officer on the scene.

Brianna died on July 19, 2002.

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02/14/2002 – 7/19/2002

This Picture was doctored to depict a healthy, burse free baby Brianna which is how the community of Las Cruses choose to remember her.

Both of her parents Stephanie Lopez and Andy Walters, and her uncle Steven Lopez were found guilty.



At time of Death

At time of Death

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Baby Briannas autopsy reveals signs of long-term abuse
The autopsy of 5-month-old Brianna Lopez revealed she had suffered abuse most of her short life in what deputies say is one of the worst cases of child abuse they have ever seen.
Brianna was pronounced dead Friday morning at Memorial Medical Center after she was rushed there when attempts to revive her failed, Doa Ana County Sheriffs Sgt. Ed Miranda said.

Police arrested Briannas parents, Stephanie Lopez, 19, and Andy Walters, 21, and uncle, Steven Lopez, 19. They each are charged with child abuse resulting in death. Walters also was charged with criminal sexual penetration of the baby.

Deputies have now interviewed the six adults and two children who lived in the home with Brianna. Miranda said the family is being cooperative.

The autopsy revealed a long list of injuries that appeared to have been inflicted over an extended period of time upon the little girl who was born on Valentines Day.

Miranda detailed the multiple injuries found on the babys body. He said Brianna had 11 human bite marks in varied stages of healing, multiple bruises, fractures to two right ribs, three skull fractures, swelling of the brain and signs of shaken baby syndrome. Brianna also had fractures to both legs, an injury experts say is commonly caused by picking up the child with a quick, jerking motion by the legs.

Investigators have obtained dental impressions to determine who made each of the bite marks.

In court records, Walters admitted to biting Brianna, but said he “did not take a chunk out of her.” Walters said his 18-month-old son also bit the baby. He said that Stephanie Lopez also bit and pinched her when she became frustrated with Brianna.
According to Miranda, Walters and Steven Lopez were drinking beer the night before when they began to toss Brianna into the air, hitting her head on the ceiling and at least twice failing to catch her before she hit the floor.
Stephen Lopez told investigators that he had drunk 10 beers from a case that Walters admitted buying.
Stephanie Lopez said she had about three beers, then fell asleep. The next morning, she told investigators, she found Brianna on the floor and was unable to wake her.
Walters said when Stephanie Lopez asked what happened to Brianna, he told her “we played a little rough with her last night.”

Miranda said it is the worst case of child abuse he has seen in his law enforcement career. “There were definite signs of neglect and failure to protect.”

“Brianna has been the most severe,” Miranda said. “This is a difficult case that is complex to work.”

The investigation and what it has revealed has been emotional for the officers working on the case. Miranda said counselors were brought in to help them deal with the case.
“When you have parents hurting children, you have a lot of emotions,” Miranda said.

Sheriffs records show no child abuse reports made at the home. Miranda said there have been domestic disturbance calls, but none involving children.

The two other children, Brianna’s 18-month-old brother and 8-year-old uncle, are in protective custody. Miranda said the children have no visible signs of neglect or abuse.
Miranda said while law enforcement, medical personnel and teachers are required to report suspected child abuse, it is the community’s duty to do the same.

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The following is a timeline of events according to police documents:

*Thursday night, July 18th, at 6 p.m., Andy Walters stopped to buy a case of beer, and headed home to 5243 Comanche Trail in Las Cruces.

Three people– Walters, 21, Stephanie Lopez, 19, and her twin brother Steven Lopez, 19, drink through the evening.

*Stephanie went to bed after about three beers. According to court documents, Andy Walters and Steven Lopez admitted to playing with Stephanie and Walters’s 5-month old daughter, Brianna.
Police records show that Walters and Lopez threw the child into the air, causing her to hit her head on the ceiling 3 times, then dropped her twice on the floor.

*Andy Walters told investigators that Brianna was conscious and crying.

*At around 12:30 a.m., Friday morning, Andy Walters fell asleep not knowing where Brianna was.

*At three in the morning, Walters says he awoke to find Brianna on the floor near the bed. He said he wrapped her in a blanket and put her in a bouncer.

*By 7 a.m., Brianna needed a diaper change. Stephanie Lopez asked about the bruises on Brianna, and according to court documents, Walters admitted that he and Steven Lopez “played a little rough with her”.

*Walters changed the diaper and took a baby wipe, wrapped it around his index finger and inserted it into Brianna’s anus.
The complaint also states Andy Walters admitted he bit Brianna on several occasions, but he told Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Deputies he is not the only family member to bite Brianna.

*Walters also told authorities that Stephanie Lopez pinched and threw Brianna out of frustration.

*The uncle, Steven Lopez, admits to throwing Brianna in the air and not catching her. Steven Lopez claims to have drunk ten beers the previous night.
During his interview with Sheriff’s Deputies, Steven Lopez admitted to having sex with Brianna Lopez. (she was 5 months old!!!) Adding that he, as well as Andy Walters, had penetrated Brianna on several different occasions.

*By 10 a.m., July 19th, Stephanie Lopez checks on her daughter, notices Brianna is not breathing, and she calls 9-1-1.

*11:10 am, Friday July 19th, five month old Brianna Lopez dies at Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces.

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Autopsy results show Brianna Lopez had 11 bite marks on her body, broken ribs, skull fractures, bleeding of the optic nerves and brain swelling.

Story Written By: Rene Ruelas, Sun-News