Girl abducted from shopping centre in 2018 found in Mexico

US News

A girl from the United States who went missing in October 2018 has been found alive and well in Mexico, the FBI has said.

Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez, who had been in foster care, was kidnapped by her biological mother from a shopping centre in Vancouver, Washington, when she was four years old.

She was last seen on the supervised visit with her mother – who was arrested a year later in September 2019 in Pueblo, Mexico.

However, the child, who is now eight years old, remained missing until she was found by authorities in Michoacan, Mexico, in February.

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The FBI had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to her recovery.

She was brought back to the US by FBI special agents, the bureau’s Seattle branch announced on Wednesday.

“For more than four years, the FBI and our partners did not give up on Aranza,” said Richard A Collodi, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office.

“Our concern now will be supporting Aranza as she begins her reintegration into the US.”

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Her mother, Esmeralda Lopez-Lopez, pleaded guilty in January 2021 to second-degree kidnapping and robbery and first-degree custodial interference at Clark County Superior Court, according to local newspaper The Columbian. She was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Aranza was placed in the care of the state and in foster care in 2017 following complaints she was physically abused by her mother, according to the newspaper. Lopez-Lopez was granted twice-weekly supervised visits.

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