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Missing California teenager believed to be with murder suspects

15-year-old last seen with her mother

(CNN) - California authorities are searching for a teenager who was last seen in the company of her mother and a man -- both of whom are suspected of murder.

Alora Benitez, 15, was last seen Wednesday in Torrance, California, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Benitez is described as Hispanic, 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 100 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was seen getting into a white sedan with Maricela Mercado and Roman Cerratos, authorities said.

The BMW sedan had a Nevada license plate that read "MARIMAR."

Police say Mercado, 40, and Cerratos, 39, are suspects in a murder investigation. The victim, Jeffrey Appel, 32, was found dead Tuesday in the front seat of a white Audi in the city of Carson. Detectives have not said how Appel died.

Authorities warn that Mercado and Cerratos should be considered armed and dangerous.

CNN's Stella Chan contributed to this report


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