Madison County woman says teen's body found just yards from home

Updated: Jun. 14, 2018 at 10:06 PM CDT
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MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The Madison County woman who owns the land where the body of 13-year-old Mariah Feit Lopez was found said the corpse was sticking out of the weeds near her driveway.

On Thursday, Bethel Lemley said her son-in-law found the body and told her not to look.

"Made me real nervous there for a minute," Lemley said.

She stayed on the porch as her daughter described the scene to her.

"My daughter said, 'Momma, you can see her foot and see her leg,' but I couldn't see it, but they did." Lemley said.

They called authorities who marked the area with a white substance.

"She was really in the weeds. You can see a little clearing and you can see where she was laying," she said.


Lemley said she wasn't sure who could have done this.

"Who could have done such a cruel thing? Kill somebody and throw them off like a dog, like an animal," she said.

She said the corpse hasn't made her afraid of where she lives.

"I go to bed early, pull my blinds, get up early," Lemley said.

William Doran lives near Lemley and said he heard about Lopez from neighbors.

"It's hard to explain. It just took me down," he said.

Doran has lived in the area since 1955 and raised his children there. He said hearing about Lopez hurt him.

The Huntsville City Schools director of communications, Keith Ward, issued a statement on Lopez:

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Mariah Lopez, a student at Challenger Middle School. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family and will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

Ward was unable to confirm what grade Lopez was in, or what the district may do to honor her.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office said she was an Honor Roll student.

Lopez's grandmother, Oralia Mendoza, is still missing. Authorities believe she could be in danger. This is her description:

  • Hispanic female
  • Dark Hair
  • 5'6' in height
  • 135 pounds
  • Unknown clothing
  • 49 years old

Contact the sheriff's office at 256-533-8820 or 256-722-7181 if you have any details on her whereabouts.

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