WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
- A 4-year-old girl named Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez went missing in 2018 while on a supervised visit with her biological mother at a mall in Vancouver, Washington.
- The FBI offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to her recovery and worked with law enforcement in Mexico to find her.
- Lopez was found in Michoacán, Mexico in February 2023 and was escorted back to the U.S. by FBI special agents. Her mother was arrested in 2019 and pleaded guilty to kidnapping and custodial interference.
Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez, who went missing from Vancouver, Washington in 2018 at the age of 4, has been found in Mexico, according to the FBI. Lopez was last seen with her biological mother on a supervised visit, during which her mother abducted her and fled to Mexico with an accomplice.
Her mother, Esmeralda Lopez-Lopez, was arrested in 2019 and pleaded guilty to second-degree kidnapping, robbery, and first-degree custodial interference in 2021, receiving a 20-month prison sentence.
The FBI had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to Lopez’s recovery and worked with law enforcement in Mexico to find her. She was found in Michoacán, Mexico in February 2023 and was escorted back to the U.S. by FBI special agents.
Richard A. Collodi, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office, stated that “For more than four years, the FBI and our partners did not give up on Aranza,” and that their concern now is “supporting Aranza as she begins her reintegration into the U.S.”
According to local publication The Columbian, Lopez had been in foster care due to allegations of abuse by her mother. Most abducted children are taken by family members, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and only 1% of missing children cases involve non-family abductions.