By Nina Harrelson firstname.lastname@example.org
A Scottsbluff man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 8-year-old stepdaughter after admitting to police that he killed her, the Associated Press reports.
Thirty-two-year-old Salvador Carlos Lopez was charged Friday in the death of Kerra Wilson, court documents show. Investigators found Kerra's body Thursday evening in a remote area of Sioux County after a rancher reported seeing something suspicious.
Kerra was reported missing by her family just before 3 p.m. Wednesday. She was last seen Tuesday evening, when she was with her grandparents.
Lopez told police that he dropped Kerra off at school Wednesday morning, but police say that after reviewing surveillance video from school cameras and interviewing school staff and classmates, it's clear the little girl was never there.
"The cooperation of the staff of Mitchell Elementary was key in determining that Kerra never made it to school on Wednesday," Lt. Bartling of the Nebraska State Patrol said. "This has been a very difficult time for everyone involved and I want to thank the school staff, community volunteers and local law enforcement for their efforts and cooperation during this very difficult time. "
"We were hoping to bring Kerra safely home to her family; sadly we weren't able to do that," Lt. Bartling said. "We will continue gathering evidence in this case and work with the Sioux County Attorney to prosecute Salvador Lopez to the fullest extent of the law."
Kerra was the oldest of four children living in the home. Police say the three other children are now in the care of relatives.
It is unclear when Kerra was killed and police say the motive is still unknown. They also say it is unknown whether or not Kerra's mother, Amanda Lopez, was involved.
Lt. Bartling said in a press conference Friday that Lopez doesn't have an extensive criminal record.
He is being held in the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center and is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Monday morning.