PALMDALE – Palmdale Detectives are seeking the public’s help in identifying an additional suspect in an extortion case involving a 12 year old victim, according to a news advisory issued Thursday.
Detectives say the case began in August when the 12-year-old victim began sneaking out of the house to visit a classmate. The classmate’s mother, Jackeline Lopez, claimed she could see the victim’s future.
Lopez conducted psychic readings with the victim in her garage, which was decorated with numerous candles, chalk outlines, black caldrons, replicated human skulls, beads, dolls, and other items consistent with psychic readings.
Lopez said the victim was cursed, and several horrible things would come to both the victim and the victim’s family if the curse was not removed. Lopez explained to the victim that the curse could be lifted for a monetary price.
Detectives say for a month, following the reading, Lopez encouraged the victim to bring her jewelry from the victim’s home to be used in removing the curse.
Routinely, Lopez would orchestrate a ritual in which the victim would place the stolen jewelry in the caldron and attempt to remove the curse. Each time, however, Lopez would tell the victim that what was brought was not enough to remove the horrible curse and she needed more.
This continued until the victim’s parents noticed the missing jewelry and confronted the victim on its whereabouts. Estimates indicate the jewelry totaled over $10,000. Palmdale Detectives linked Lopez with pawn shops in the area and identified several pieces of the victim’s jewelry in the stores.
On September 17, Jackeline Lopez was arrested on charges of extortion, and booked at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station with a $35,000 bail.
Detectives are now seeking the public’s help in identifying a possible suspect who may have helped Lopez sell the family’s jewelry. The man wearing the red shirt in the photo on the left was observed aiding Lopez in pawning a large amount of the victim’s jewelry.
The Palmdale Sheriff’s Station is asking anyone who recognizes the man in the photo, or anyone who has been victimized by Lopez, to contact detective Dang at 661-272-2477.
Tipsters may also contact “Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or at lacrimestoppers.org.