On December 11, 2019 at approximately 3:08 p.m., Luis Alfredo Bernal-Lopez was arrested by Florida Highway Patrol as a result of a Russellville Police Department investigation into the sexual assault of a 14-year-old juvenile female from the Russellville area.
The Russellville Police Department has an ongoing investigation into Bernal-Lopez’s relationship with the 14-year-old juvenile female when she was reported as a runaway by her parents on Wednesday morning, December 11, 2019. As a result of the ongoing investigation, detectives believed that the 14-year-old juvenile was with Bernal-Lopez.
With the assistance of the Arkansas State Police and their law enforcement partners in the State of Florida, Russellville detectives were able to determine that Bernal-Lopez was traveling in a silver Infiniti sedan on Interstate 10 in Florida. On Wednesday, a BOLO (be in the lookout) advisory was issued and shared with law enforcement agencies nationwide.
Russellville Police detectives then obtained an arrest warrant for Sexual Assault 4th Degree for Bernal-Lopez.
According to a release from the Florida Highway Patrol, just after 3 p.m. Wednesday, December 11, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Christopher Maloney observed a silver Infiniti matching the description of the suspect vehicle described in the BOLO advisory. The car was traveling westbound on Interstate 10 near the 96 mile marker in Holmes County. Trooper Maloney followed the vehicle as it exited the interstate and entered the parking lot of a Big Boss store. The trooper then initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle.
The trooper made contact with the driver who was identified as Luis Alfredo Bernal-Lopez, 30** of Russellville, along with the juvenile victim who was present in the vehicle. Upon confirming their identities and learning they were the subjects of the BOLO, Bernal-Lopez was placed into custody. The trooper then obtained care and services for the juvenile from the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Bernal-Lopez is currently being held in Holmes County, Florida pending extradition. The juvenile has since been released to her parents.
Russellville Police state that this investigation is still ongoing and other charges may be added as the investigation continues.
The Russellville Police Department would like to extend their gratitude to the efforts of their patrol officers, detectives, Arkansas State Police investigators and the Florida Highway Patrol for the assistance in quickly resolving this matter and the safe return of the juvenile.
*** While researching, River Valley Now discovered that the suspect, identified as Luis A. Bernal-Lopez is 29 years old, (DOB 12/23/1989) not 30 years old as stated in the release.