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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Missing Fullerton College student found dead in Moreno Valley vegetation field

After going missing following a shooting at Penn Park Sunday night, a 19-year-old Fullerton College student is found dead.
Fullerton+College+fashion+student+Andrea+Vazquez%2C+19%2C+was+tragically+found+dead+in+Moreno+Valley+following+her+disappearance+from+Penn+Park+in+Whittier+Sunday+night.
Whittier Police Department
Fullerton College fashion student Andrea Vazquez, 19, was tragically found dead in Moreno Valley following her disappearance from Penn Park in Whittier Sunday night.

Fullerton College student Andrea Vazquez was found dead in a vegetation field in Moreno Valley, approximately 57 miles away from where she was last seen alive on Monday night, according to a Whittier Police Department press release.

Vazquez, 19, had gone missing briefly after midnight Sunday following a shooting incident that took place at Penn Park in the city of Whittier.

20-year-old Gabriel Esparza was arrested Monday afternoon for kidnapping and murder in relation to the shooting at Penn Park and Vazquez’s disappearance.

A weapon believed to be used in the crime and Esparza’s 2013 Toyota Tacoma were recovered at Esparza’s job in Lakewood. He is being held by the Whittier Police Department with no bail.

Gabriel Esparza was apprehended Tuesday afternoon from his job in Lakewood without incident. He is being held by the Whittier Police Department without bail. (Whittier Police Department)

Fullerton College President Cynthia Olivo has deployed Vice President of Student Services Gil Contreras to help the community heal. Students who were enrolled in courses alongside Vazquez as well as faculty who taught her will be informed and the college’s campus psychologist team will be ready to reach out to all students and faculty in any way they can.

“This afternoon we learned of the tragic murder of one of our students Andrea Vazquez,” Olivo said in an email to Fullerton College staff. “If you knew Andrea-we extend our condolences to you and are here for you. We send our love to her parents, family and friends.”

Investigation teams and law enforcement departments from Riverside County, Los Angeles County, Downey, and La Habra have assisted Whittier PD with the arrest and ongoing investigation.

Whittier PD is planning to present the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday.

There will be a follow-up story and update to this story as it continues to unfold.

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About the Contributors
Guadalupe Gonzalez, Copy Editor
Guadalupe Gonzalez is a first semester staff reporter and Copy Editor for The Hornet Newspaper. When not writing, she enjoys sewing, reading, and watching thriller or horror movies and spending time with her two cats. Her goal in journalism is to be a news reporter for a newspaper media outlet.
Matthew Gonzalez, Staff Reporter
Matthew Gonzalez is a second semester staff reporter for The Hornet. Aside from being a staff reporter, he is also into sports photography. Matthew's passion in sports comes from watching and covering football, soccer, and basketball. During his free time he enjoys working out or listening to music. He is a huge Taylor Swift lover. Matthew plans on transferring to Cal State Northridge next fall to get a bachelors degree in Journalism.  His end goal is to work for a newspaper company.

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