Baby Brianna honored on 12th birthday

ALBUQUERUQE (KRQE) – She would have been 12 years old Friday, but she only lived for five short months.

Baby Brianna of Doña Ana County helped bring awareness and change to the state after her brutal death in 2002 at the hands of her own family.

It’s a case that New Mexico will never forget, and on Friday, she was honored with the release of balloons in Albuquerque and in Doña Ana County.

Community members say their goal is to celebrate her life and continue to bring awareness about child abuse in an effort to stop it.

In 2002, when Brianna Lopez was killed, penalties for deadly cases of child abuse were much less severe. Her mother is scheduled to be released in 2016

Her dad and uncle still have more than 25 years of their sentences left.

There is now a law that requires a life sentence for intentional cases of child abuse that result in death when the child is 12 years old or older.

There is a push in the legislature right now to get rid of the age restriction. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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