Missing girl, now aged 8, is found alive after she was kidnapped from a mall in 2018

A now-eight-year-old girl who was kidnapped from a mall in Washington back in 2018 has been found alive in Mexico.
Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez was only four years old when she was last spotted on a visit with her biological mother at the mall in Vancouver, Washington.

Her mother, Esmeralda Lopez-Lopez, was arrested by the police in 2019 in Puebla, Mexico, but the girl remained missing until she was located in the state of Michoacán, Mexico, in February this year.

The FBI had initially offered a $10,000 reward for information that could help them with the search. Thankfully, on Wednesday (March 8), the bureau's Seattle branch announced that she has been safely returned to the US.

Richard A Collodi, special agent in charge of the Seattle field office, shared a statement that read: "For more than four years, the FBI and our partners did not give up on Aranza. Our concern now will be supporting Aranza as she begins her reintegration into the US."

Before her abduction, Aranza was in the state’s custody after being placed in foster care in 2017 following founded complaints of physical abuse by Lopez-Lopez.

The young girl was reportedly covered in large bruises, and her biological mother was considered to be a threat based on her history of abuse, her absence in mental health assessments, and her irresponsible behavior, as reported by The Columbian.

Lopez-Lopez was given twice-weekly visits with Aranza and on one of those occasions, she requested to take her daughter to a restroom in the Washington mall. She then allegedly escaped with Aranza and fled the scene in a car driven by an accomplice.

After the kidnapping, the mother was on the run in Mexico for about a year, before being apprehended by police and deported back to the states, the outlet noted.

In January 2021, Lopez-Lopez pleaded guilty to second-degree kidnapping, robbery, and first-degree custodial interference in Clark County Superior Court. She was then sentenced to 20 months in prison.

The publication stated that at the time of the youngster's kidnapping, the mom said she no longer knew where her daughter was, but the prosecution alleged that she was supporting detectives' search for her.

Lopez-Lopez's defense attorney said that she believed her daughter was safe with her family in Mexico. Four years later, Aranza's recovery was made with the help of local and state police in the USA and Mexico.

According to News.com.au, data from the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children stated that a majority of kidnaped children are taken by their own family members - with only 1 percent of missing children cases involving abductions by non-family members.

Please don't forget to SHARE this with your friends and family.

Click here for Comments

0 commentaires :