Kidnapped 8-year-old found in Mexico after more than 4 years missing

The FBI has announced that Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez, who went missing in October 2018, has been found alive in Mexico. Last month, Mexican authorities located her in Michoacán and escorted her back to the United States. Richard A. Collodi, the Special Agent In Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office, stated that the FBI and its partners had not given up on Lopez for more than four years and that their priority was now to ensure her reintegration into the U.S. and her safety and privacy.

At the time of her kidnapping, Lopez was in the custody of the state, and was taken away by her biological non-custodial mother, Esmeralda Lopez-Lopez, during a supervised visit to the Vancouver Mall on October 25th, 2018. After Lopez-Lopez was found by Mexican authorities in Puebla, Mexico in 2019, she was extradited back to Clark County, Washington to face criminal charges. In January 2021, Lopez-Lopez pleaded guilty to kidnapping, robbery, and custodial interference, and was sentenced to 20 months in prison and 18 months of probation.

Prior to her kidnapping, Lopez was in the custody of Child Protective Services due to complaints that Lopez-Lopez was physically abusing her. Additionally, Lopez-Lopez had refused to participate in a mandatory mental health assessment and displayed erratic behavior, leading the state to deem her a danger to her daughter.

The FBI had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to Lopez’s location.