An 8‑year-old girl from Washington state, who had been missing since October 2018, was recently found in Michoacán, Mexico, and returned to the U.S. last month, the FBI announced. Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez was kidnapped by her biological mother from a shopping mall in Vancouver, Washington, and a missing person poster was released with a $10,000 reward for information on her whereabouts.
After nearly five years of searching, Aranza was located in Mexico and returned to the U.S. in February with the help of FBI special agents. Her location in the U.S. is not being disclosed to protect her privacy, and no further details have been released.
Aranza’s biological mother was taken into custody in Mexico in September 2019, but the child was not found at that time. Investigators determined that she had been taken to Mexico, and the FBI and their partners continued to search for her for over four years.
Aranza was in foster care at the time of her abduction due to allegations of physical abuse by her mother. Lopez-Lopez pleaded guilty to kidnapping, robbery, and custodial interference in January 2021 and was sentenced to 20 months in prison.
Richard A. Collodi, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office, praised the efforts of the FBI and their partners in finding Aranza and stated that their concern now is supporting her as she begins to reintegrate into the U.S.
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