Car tied to amber alert and slaying found near border crossing in San Diego area


The car at the center of a search for a missing 15-year-old girl, believed to be with her mother and a man who are both suspects in the killing of a Carson man, was discovered near a major border crossing in San Diego County Friday.

An Amber Alert and emergency alert were sent Thursday in the search for Alora Benitez, who was last seen at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Torrance.

She was spotted leaving with her mother and another man in a 2013 4-door BMW sedan, with Nevada license plate “MARIMAR,” according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. 

The sedan was discovered Thursday afternoon in the area of San Ysidro — a major border crossing — but no one was inside, LASD said. 

Homicide investigators were on scene to examine the sedan. 

Benitez is 5-feet 2-inches tall, weighing 100 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Investigators could not provide a description of the outfit she was last seen in. 

The girl’s mother and the man she was seen leaving with are considered suspects in the slaying of a man who was found dead Tuesday in the front seat of a white Audi.

The car, streaked with blood, was found parked in the 400 block of East Carson Plaza Drive, the sheriff’s department said. 

Anyone who spots Benitez should call 9-1-1 immediately. The suspects are considered armed and dangerous.

Jeffery Appel, 32, was found dead in a bloodied car in Carson Tuesday. The cause of death has not yet been determined. 

Anyone with information on where the trio may be is asked to call sheriff’s Homicide Detectives Lawler or Blagg at (323) 890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

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