The Worst Case of Child Abuse In US History – The Murder of Baby Brianna (GRAPHIC)


Brianna Mariah Lopez a.k.a “Baby Brianna” (February 14, 2002 – July 19, 2002)

Brianna Lopez who is also known to many as “Baby Brianna”, was a baby girl who was born in a New Mexico hospital on Valentines Day, 2002 to her mother, Stephanie Lopez and her father, Andy Walters. She would have turned eleven years old on February 14, 2013 but sadly, she never made it.

When Baby Brianna left the hospital after her birth she moved into a home in Las Cruces, N.M. shared by her parents and Uncle, Steven Lopez.

The abuse started almost immediately. Instead of hugs and kisses Brianna received slaps and pinches. She was tormented on a daily basis, both verbally and physically. Slapped, kicked, punched, pinched, thrown, raped, etc. You name it this infant endured it.

Mugshot photos of Brianna’s parents, Andrew “Andy” Walters and Stephanie Lopez

Mugshot photo of Steven Lopez

When Brianna would cry at the pain that was inflicted on her, her abusers would laugh and stuff her mouth with clothing to muffle her screams. Her own mother would bite and pinch her when she got frustrated by the crying, but for the most part it was the infant’s father and uncle who tormented her while Stephanie sat back and ignored her daughter’s cries.

Medical examiners would later report the marks as being both old and new which proved prolong abuse. Brianna also had bleeding on her brain, both old and new, as well as broken ribs, broken legs, broken arms, lacerations to her fingers, vagina and anus. She had been abused everyday of her short life.

Photo of Baby Brianna’s little hand and fingers

Photos of Baby Brianna taken right before her autopsy. Notice the bite marks on her head and back.

Baby Brianna was what many would consider a strong baby because she managed to survive 153 days despite coming into this cruel world weighing only several pounds.

On the evening of July 18th, 2002 Andy went out to purchase beer and when he came home they all proceeded to get drunk. Stephanie claimed to have had only a few beers before heading to bed in the same room the others were in. During this time both Andy and Steven decided to play their own sick, demented game where they would toss Brianna up in the air, let her hit the ceiling and watch her tumble to the ground. They would later tell authorities that Brianna was screaming and wailing when this was happening. Apparently the baby’s mother didn’t hear her daughter screaming and crying in agony.

Early the next morning on July 19, 2002 at approximately 7:15a.m. Stephanie awoke to Brianna crying and noticed fresh bruises on her and asked the others what happened. They told her that they may have been “a little to rough with her last night”. She accepted their answer and ignored her child’s injuries.

That same morning Stephanie noticed Brianna needed a diaper change and Andy volunteered to do it.  During the diaper change he wrapped a baby wipe around his finger and inserted it into Brianna’s anus. He also sodomized her with foreign objects. When Stephanie noticed Brianna near death she ignored it and decided to wait several hours before calling an ambulance. When she did find the time to call them, she lied and told them her daughter had fallen from her high chair. Apparently she was delusional enough to think authorities would by that story.

Brianna was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead at 11:10AM. She was just 5 months and 5 days old.

Left: Large bite mark on Brianna’s arm Right: More photos showing the abuse this precious baby endured


This photo shows the back of Brianna’s head where you can see a large bite mark to her earlobe.

The first officer to see baby Brianna in the hospital was Detective Lindell Wright. He remembers one thought going through his mind:  “I’ve got a lot to do.” 

“Literally bruised from head to toe, from the top of her head all throughout her body all the way to the big toe on her right foot.” said Governor Susana Martinez who prosecuted Brianna’s family.

They took sadistic joy out of torturing this infant. Not one family member cared about her, not one of them attempted to protect her and there’s zero proof to suggest she was ever shown love in her short life. She was there for their own sadistic amusement.

When police searched the home they couldn’t find one toy or even a photo of Brianna laughing or smiling.  No evidence to indicate she enjoyed one moment of her life.

Many relatives including Brianna’s grandparents knew what was occurring but ignored it. They knew their granddaughter was being raped by both her father and uncle, they knew she had pinch marks from head to toe in different stages of healing, they knew she was being tormented and had marks, cuts and lacerations but they turned a blind eye and let it continue for five, going on six more months until baby Brianna’s little body couldn’t handle the abuse any longer.

Officer Wright has seen alot during his career but Brianna’s case will haunt him for life.

“I cried my eyes out. It will stay with me for the rest of my life. It tests you to the point you’re not sure you can speak,””You’re afraid that the emotion will take over.” said Wright.

At the time Brianna was murdered a person who committed intentional child abuse resulting in death faced a maximum of 18 years in prison.

“Eighteen years for the life of a child?” State Sen. Mary Jane Garcia of Doña Ana said. “I thought it was absurd.”

It took three years of trying and in 2005, Senate Bill 166, also known as the “Baby Brianna Bill” was officially signed into law by Governor Bill Richardson. The bill made child abuse, which results in death, a first degree felony in New Mexico and set the mandatory minimum sentence at 30 years in prison.

Three relatives, including her grandparents, were sentenced to 30 days in jail for failing to report the abuse. The maximum is one year.

Stephanie Lopez was convicted of negligent child abuse after she failed to do anything to help her child.  The New Mexico Corrections Department said that she could be released as early as September 28, 2016. Less than 15 for her daughter’s torture death. The New Mexico State Parole Board said that it’s almost certain that she’ll be released, provided that she finds a suitable home and can meet the requirements of her release conditions.

The public was outraged when they heard about the possible release. Dozens created petitions which quickly gained signatures and many called the Governor.


Thousands of people in the community weeped over Brianna’s horrific death. Mourners who never had the chance to meet Brianna in life came together for the baby girl in her after-life. They paid for her casket and burial and claimed her body when nobody else did. Her gravesite became a memorial site with dozens of toys and flowers, something Brianna’s family didn’t approve of.

Brianna’s family and relatives didn’t put a penny towards the child’s funeral, burial and grave-stone. Heck, they didn’t even claim her, the community did. Her family didn’t want Brianna to receive love even after her death and went out of their way to purchase a cage to go over her gravestone in an attempt to shield her. The cage is a mess, unkempt and full of trash.

The community refused to let Brianna and her story simmer and still placed flowers around the cage. They’ve also created another memorial site to visit and remember the little girl who never had a chance.

When asked why they put a cage over Brianna’s grave-site, Brianna’s family had little to say.

“They were asked, and they said they just wanted to be left alone and they wanted Brianna to be left alone,” Martinez said.

Inside the cage is a cherub with a finger raised to her lips. Some believe it’s a message.

“My first thought was, ‘Let’s not talk about what’s occurred here,'” Lopez said.

The community vows to not let that happen.  People still visit and leave flowers and have built another marker as well.  Brianna’s story has been told dozens of times and is still being told over a decade later on websites and online memorials including  Brianna Lopez Last Memories and Facebook memorials such as In Loving Memory of Baby Brianna

Detectives, social workers and prosecutors who worked on her case will also remember Brianna.

“Before they started the autopsy and her little face was lying on a white sheet and I thought she looks asleep,” Wright said. “So I just took the picture.”

The picture was photo-shopped to edit out all the marks, bruises and scars she had.  It’s the Brianna the community likes to remember.

“There’s a photograph of her to carry on of her little life,” Wright said.

The picture hangs on the wall next to Susana Martinez’s desk.

“It’s a reminder, of course, of why we do what we do,” Martinez said. “If you forget you’ll either become calloused or you will become Jell-O. “You can’t do this job well unless you are in the middle, and that’s just a good reminder why we do it.”

Brianna is never far from the detective either. “It drives me to work harder to prevent, to be a voice for every child of abuse,” Wright said. “That’s what it does.”

Brianna Lopez

Brianna Lopez – Find A Grave – Brianna Mariah Lopez was buried at Dõna Ana Cemetery in Dona Ana County, New Mexico, USA

July 19, 2012 marked the 10th anniversary of the death of Baby Brianna. She would be turning 11-years-old in three weeks. RIP Brianna M. Lopez

1,500 responses to “The Worst Case of Child Abuse In US History – The Murder of Baby Brianna (GRAPHIC)

      • A fetus cannot feel pain until after 20 weeks gestation. Most abortions occur well before 16 weeks gestation. The majority them these days are performed by taking medications to induce miscarriage.

        People like you have a bad habit of making abortion out to be much more gory than it actually is! The “burning” abortion that someone referred to is actually a saline injection to the heart to stop the heart, which is no longer performed. In the RARE case of a late term abortion, which is only legal under a very few circumstances, a different medication is injected into the fetus’ heart to stop the heartbeat and then labor is induced where the mother gives birth to the stillborn fetus. Most likely it was a very much wanted pregnancy, but either the mother’s life is in danger or the fetus has certain anomalies that aren’t discovered until around 16-20 weeks gestation which will either cause much suffering or death after birth for the baby.

        Unless you have had an abortion or have experience and first hand knowledge of abortions, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Also, getting your information from a biased pro-“life” source is completely inaccurate.

        This child suffered much more than any aborted z/e/f EVER has!!! SMH!

      • You uneducated human being, a fetus has no feeling of pain. Their nerves arnt working and developed untill they are 24 weeks+ in which abortions don’t occur unless medically necessary. It sounds like you prefer a child to be born into a unloving family then for it to be prevented before birth. I wouldn’t doubt your a family member of this disgusting family.

      • are you kidding me right now?!! you think a new born baby being raped and beaten is better then abortion???????????

    • Jenn,

      What the baby endured out of the womb is horrific, however, imagine your 16 week old fetus being ripped apart, or burned Alive in the womb. Your fetus can feel that pain as well, and even cry. So either way it’s not right.

      • thank you for having some sense.. for whatever ignorant reason, people think that a fetus isn’t really a human baby.

      • Having an abortion in this situation would be lesser of the two. I’d rather it be ended in an instant before it has begun, than five whole months of tortuous hell upon leaving the womb. Besides, why would you wait until you are half way done to abort a child? If you think having the child’s life ended in the way it did is better than having it aborted, you are some very sick sadistic people.

      • Fetuses do not feel pain until 20 plus weeks of gestation and abortion only occurs if medically necessary after that you ignorant human being.
        Its people like you that cause these types of incidents to happen.

  1. I hope these people suffer for the rest of they’re lives unbelievable what people do to defenseless children it makes me sick to think that they would even think about letting them out I hope they burn in hell

  2. Amazing that these kind of sick fucks even walk the earth, but unfortunately they are out there, and although they they killed her body, they cannot kill her soul, no human has the power to kill a soul, and her soul is back with God. As for these sick fucks, they probably doomed their own souls, and will probably burn in hell for what they’ve done to this poor child.

  3. This is the saddest story ever. There are people that shouldn’t be partners in the first place. People should be put on death row and should die in prison. Instead of getting bail every time.

  4. i have kids of my own and if even the bit of aduse was used on them i would give my life to kill those punks so hope they get raped in prison to death and fucked up the rest of there lifes i hope they dont even make it out of prison and any one who was involved fuck them they dont deserve to have even existed

  5. Would love these people’s future address don’t matter where they go. Post and thank you for your help. Will return the favor to these people for months I promise you all. People like this do not deserve to live people.

  6. so sad I hope some stupid motherfuckers Vernon Hills that baby didn’t ask for none of that s*** I hope they beat Matt this as everyday in jail and wiping the f*** out the n*****

  7. my heart is broken in side how could. something. like that happens to a beautiful. baby where is the. laws at i would. love to say something to the mother and grandmother face to face give me that change. because when they come out there will get there belive me God don’t. Like ugly left my child and child over the world to be love and repeated

  8. I would love to go to New Mexico prison just to find her mother. Put nails in a bat and torture her with it. Then go find her Uncle and Father and do it to them eery day for the rest of their miserable lives.

  9. Okay what I want to know it how are they able to put a cage over her grave place if the community bought everything And claimed her ?.
    They have to right to put a cage over her grave if they didn’t buy the area she was buried in.
    The community should take down the fence and make it open to anyone to visit. Fuck those guys .

  10. In my opinion they deserve to be killed no child should have to go through any of this. It turns my stomach upside down! How could they let these people go after they face the consiquences of what they did they’re just going to continue doing what they did to this beautiful precious innocent baby! <////3 They should beat the f*ck out of these people and rape them lets see how they filename like it fucken disgusting ass people. They deserve to fucken rot in hell!! These people don't deserve to to fucken live anymore!! I will never ever let anyone of my family members go through this it makes so fucken sick to my stomach!! Y the fuck would they let these people go wtf is wrong with u guys seriously!! And if these sick fuck heads didn't a child they should learn to keep their fucken legs closed!!! Pinche putos vale vergas!!!!

  11. I am so devastated, sad, and angry after reading this. These scumbags of family need to be punished to the extreme. What kind of parents and family do this to a small helpless child? They are monsters, human-demons!! I do believe they deserve the death penalty, slowest method possible so they could feel every second of agony, after all they took this precious angel’s life, why should they keep their lives? The only thing I can do is pray they suffer greatly in their life and I pray they burn in Hell after they die. For precious Brianna, I pray that she is an Angel in God’s heavens.

  12. All I can say is it is so sad that a child should never know love and be treated this way!. I really hope that the people who killed little Brianna get the death penalty and suffer for what they have done to her. I hope law makers give death for children and babies who suffer like this deserve justice!. ”Maybe if people knew they would suffer for hurting a baby or child and die they would think and stop repeating the abuse. I say what good is a life if when you come in you are treated as if you are not a living person!. This child was never loved she was treated worse then a dog and her whole life was lived in sorrow and pain. ”God help those poor souls who did this and may he show them what they showed Brianna in life and even in death no mercy and no respect.

  13. Just wondering, since the community was responsible for burying Brianna, why does the family have the right to say what happens at her gravesite. Doesn’t the state become the advocate for a child when removed from the parents home due to abuse. So why doesn’t the state advocate for the removal of the cage placed on Brianna’s grave?

  14. For one I think that they all should rot in prison then after they die rot! Let them indore just what she did those sick freaks! I have cryed over this since I read it over 5 years ago! If anybody needs to die its them basterds she was 5 months old for crying out loud! Sick demented beaners! Rot in HELL>

  15. Since I read about Baby Brianna about 5 yrs ago I still cry to this day and think about her often. Poor Baby.. How could someone do this!! The people who she should’ve been the safest with. Sickens be to the core. So many couples out there that cannot bear their own children and are willing to love someone else’s child as their own and here these motherfuckers treating their precious baby like an animal. Make me a judge and let me chose their punishment!!!! But it’s all in the Lords hands and they WILL have their JUDGEMENT DAY!!

  16. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to breed. In fact, the uncle and father need to have their testicles chopped off, deep fried, covered in powdered sugar, served to them and told they are Quarkbällchen. The mother should be spayed. That is all I have to say.

  17. Pour baby.Actualy know how it feels since my dad emosionly abusing me by all of his drinking and while he gets drunk he will manipulate me.He once said”Your brother was the success but you were the failure” and doesnt matter what i do to please him and i’m still his second choice.this went on for 14 years

  18. this is messed up and no child should have to go through that murder is murder and they should’ve had the death penalty this is unacceptable and they should’ve been made an example of

  19. None of them deserve to live. She was a baby!!! Not ONE picture not ONE toy!!!!! this poor baby girl never had a chance with these disgusting monsters!!! Why does this bi*ch get a chance at parole?!?!?!? She had bitten her all over and KNEW about the abuse she ignored the cries of this poor baby girl. She doesnt deserve a chance at ever having any sort of freedom again! She deserves death same with those assholes who could rape a baby…..RIP baby Brianna no one will forget you baby girl

  20. I couldnt imagine doin this torture to my baby as a mother you do anything possible to protect, love, and provide for your angels!! I have a 9 yr old daughter and a 4 month old baby boy that will be 5 months in about two weeks looking at him my tiny baby boy and looking ay these shocking photos of baby brianna breaks my heart her parents and uncle are sick, twisted and evil for doing such a horrific act against her!! Fly with the Angels beautiful baby girl!!

  21. these retarded sick fucks deserve to be tortured in every way possible before being burned alive at the stake. who let those mexican shits across the border? I wish they allowed medieval torture methods. you know like pulling apart the limbs one by one and impaling them. those shitheads deserve a very special place in hell.

  22. thjs abuse is CRAZY nobody should be treated like that.

    That mom didn’t even care the they where throwing her baby up in the air and then letting her hit the seling that is just plain abuse.

    The cause of her child’s deth is unpredictable

  23. It is so sad what baby Brianna went thru.. I can’t even begin to imagine what I would do to someone who thinks they can even look at my babies wrong!! Shows this mom was a monster not a mother to allow this to happen!! Shame on the grandparents as well for turning the other cheek and letting it continue!! RIP Babygirl, I know you have lots of love and toys to play with now!

  24. God Bless Brianna. Poor child, people who don’t deserve the miracle of having a child always seem to have the most children. It sadens me deeply that this beautiful angel wasn’t able to live her life. I’d give anything to recieve her and give her all the love she needed. God bless her soul. Those people will rot in hell. I hope they torture them good! Fucking pigs!

  25. I would never defile anyone’s grave especially a babies.. but I want to go and break down that cage so bad!!
    No one who was tortured deserves to be locked away, they should be free even as their bodies rest

  26. I think Joe as a child you suffered from the same kind of abuse so you think it’s normal. I think your parents raped you to. I pray you don’t have kids. I feel sorry for you because I know God will not favor you on judgment day.

  27. this baby is in heaven now even though I did not know her she will be in my thoughts and prayers children are a gift you should love a child I love my children everyday i never take them for granted my nieces and nephews i love the same way as though they were my children they are our future they are to be loved not ignored or treated badly love all children have respect.

  28. I was in prison with Stephanie (not for child abuse) and everybody in there treats her like royalty from the inmates to the gaurds, counselors and teachers. It made me sick. Luckly for me I wasnt there long but she deserves to rot in there. She plans on living in albuquerque with her sister when she paroles and I hope all these people who hate her, find her and torture her the same way Breanna was tortured. As for her grandma that turned a blind eye, I hope she goes through equal amount of pain.How could she not hear the baby screaming in pain??? They lived in a single wide trailer. Ughhh I wish I could print this blog and send it to every inmate to remind them of what these assholes did that way they can take care of them before they even think of parole. But I know the guards will intercept the mail. I would have beat the bitch myself but she was on a high level of security and I was only there a few months. I sure hope she gets whats coming to her

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