A missing girl who was kidnapped from a mall when she was only four years old has finally been found alive in Mexico.
Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez, now 8, was only 4 when she was abducted from a mall in Vancouver, Washington, in 2018.
Her mother, Esmeralda Lopez-Lopez, was reportedly taken into custody in 2019 in Pueblo, Mexico. However, she was not found until she was located in Michoacan in February this year.
Authorities initially offered a $10,000 reward for information that could help them and on March 8, the FBI’s Seattle branch finally announced that the girl has been returned to the US.
“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,” the statement read, which was shared by Richard A Collodi, special agent in charge of the Seattle field office.
Before Aranza’s disappearance, she was in the state’s custody. She was reportedly placed in foster care after complaints of ill-treatment by Lopez-Lopez.
According to The Columbian, the young girl had large bruises and her biological mother was considered to be a threat.
Lopez-Lopez was allowed to visit Aranza twice a week and during one of her visits, she requested to take the child to a restroom in the mall.
That’s when she allegedly escaped with her daughter and fled the scene in a vehicle that was reportedly driven by an accomplice.
Lopez-Lopez was on the run for about a year until she was arrested in Mexico and deported back to the states.
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