Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Disappearance & Murder of Kimberly Arteaga

Kimberly Arteaga disappeared from Lemon Grove, California on November 13th, 2013. The 16-year-old was last seen by her family members that day, and she was never heard from again. Initially, it appeared that family members thought Kimberly ran away but would eventually return home. When that did not happen by January 7th, 2014, Kimberly’s family members reported her missing.

Kimberly was still classified as a runaway after being officially reported missing. Investigators had very little to work with, and it would be years before they would receive a single tip in the case. Finally, in January 2017, the investigation took a drastic turn. A man taking his dog for a walk found human remains at the Otay Valley regional park in Chula Vista. The man called the Chula Vista police, who sent the remains to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office. Two months later, it was confirmed that the remains belonged to Kimberly Arteaga.

The Medical Examiner’s Office ultimately ruled Kimberly’s death a homicide. Investigators have not revealed how Kimberly exactly died, as the autopsy results and all other related documents in the case have been sealed. Investigators did reveal that, despite being labeled a runaway, Kimberly was likely killed around the time of her disappearance. 

No arrests have been made in the case, nor have any suspects been publicly announced. However, Kimberly’s friend Aaron Bonilla has only one prime suspect in mind: Kimberly’s boyfriend from 2013. Aaron told reporters, “It was the boyfriend at the time, it has to be there’s no doubt about it. It just breaks my heart to know that my friend just passed in a very brutal way.”

The identity of said boyfriend has not been publicly revealed. The lead investigator in Kimberly’s case said that the boyfriend has been interviewed and was labeled as a person of interest. Still, he has not been named as a suspect at this time. 

Kimberly’s case is still being investigated, and a $1000 reward is being offered for anyone with information leading to an arrest. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please call the San Diego homicide unit at 858-974-2321.

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