The FBI announced that Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez, who disappeared in October 2018, has been found alive in Mexico.
Earlier this month, Mexican officials located Lopez 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, reported that the FBI and its associates had not stopped searching for Lopez for over four years. Their main goal now is to help her reintegrate back into the U.S.
At the time of her abduction, Lopez was under the state’s care and was taken away by her biological non-custodial mother, Esmeralda Lopez-Lopez, during a monitored visit to the Vancouver Mall on October 25th, 2018.
Subsequently, Lopez-Lopez was detected by Mexican law enforcement in Puebla, Mexico, in 2019 and was deported back to Clark County, Washington, to confront criminal accusations. In January 2021, Lopez-Lopez pleaded guilty to kidnapping, theft, and custodial interference and was sentenced to 20 months in prison and 18 months of probation.
Before her kidnapping, Lopez was under the guardianship of Child Protective Services because of grievances that Lopez-Lopez was physically abusing her. Besides, Lopez-Lopez had refused to participate in an obligatory mental health assessment and presented erratic behavior, making the state deem her a danger to her daughter.