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US girl missing since 2018 kidnapping found safe and well



An eight-year-old girl who has been missing since October 2018 has been safely returned to the United States after being found in Mexico, according to the FBI.

The FBI says Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez was found safe last month in Michoacán, Mexico, by local authorities. She was taken back to the US by FBI special agents.

Aranza Lopez was kidnapped by her mother, Esmeralda Lopez-Lopez, on October 25, 2018, during a court-supervised visitation at Vancouver Mall in Washington state.

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It was determined that Aranza Lopez had been taken to Mexico.

"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."

Esmeralda Lopez-Lopez was arrested in Puebla, Mexico, in 2019 and extradited to Clark County. 

In January 2021, Lopez-Lopez was sentenced to 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree kidnapping, second-degree robbery, and first-degree custodial interference.

The recovery was made with the help of local and state police in the USA and Mexico.

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