Amber Alert issued for California teen whose mom is suspect in murder

CARSON, California (WABC) -- An Amber Alert was issued Thursday for a California teenager after investigators learned she was last seen with her mother and a man who are suspects in a murder and considered "armed and dangerous."

Detectives are looking for 15-year-old Alora Benitez, who was last seen Wednesday morning in Torrance accompanied by her mother, Maricela Mercado, and Roman Cerratos, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Mercado, 40, and Cerratos, 39, are suspects in the homicide that occurred on Tuesday in Carson, California, according to the sheriff's department. The victim, whose name was not released, was found dead in the front seat of a white Audi near a business district in the Southern California town.

"They are considered armed and dangerous," sheriff's officials said of Mercado and Ceratos in a statement.

Benitez is described as a Hispanic girl, approximately 5-foot-2 and 100 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

"The fact that she is traveling with two people wanted in connection with a murder, we felt prudent that we get this information out to the public as safe as possible for the safe return of Miss Benitez," one investigator said.

Anyone who spots them or the vehicle is asked to not approach them, but to call 911.

"Los Angeles County Homicide Bureau is requesting the public's assistance in locating Alora and safely returning her to her family," the sheriff's department statement reads. "Please do not take independent action, call 9-1-1 and alert local police or sheriff's officials."

Anyone with information can also contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau, Detective Lawler or Detective Blagg at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous information can be provided to Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the "P3 Tips" Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website

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