A GIRL who was snatched from a shopping mall in 2018 has been found alive and well thousands of miles away.
Eight-year-old Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez was taken by her biological mother when she was in care but has now turned up in Mexico, the FBI has said.
Aranza was snatched during a court supervised visit to a shopping mall in Vancouver, Washington on October 25, 2018.
The FBI continued to hunt for Aranza and had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to her being found.
Aranza has now been taken back to an undisclosed location in the US by the FBI.
Richard A. Collodi, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office, said that law enforcement never gave up on finding Aranza.
“For more than four years, the FBI and our partners did not give up on Aranza,” he said.
“Our concern now will be supporting Aranza as she begins her reintegration into the US.”
Her mother Esmeralda Lopez-Lopez was arrested in 2019 in Mexico after being on the run for about a year.
She pleaded guilty in January 2021 to second-degree kidnapping and robbery and first-degree custodial interference at Clark County Superior Court.
Lopez-Lopez was sentenced to 20 months in prison but her daughter remained missing.
At the time, Lopez-Lopez said she no longer knew where her daughter was.
The prosecution revealed she was helping investigators search for her, the Columbian reports.
Now the Mexican authorities have managed to locate her in February in Michoacán, a state in western Mexico.
The FBI are yet revealing any more details about how Aranza was tracked down and who the child was with when she was found.
Currently all the bureau is saying is that a Missing Person Poster was issued and agents were ultimately able to determine that Aranza had been taken to Mexico.
It comes after a missing 14-year-old girl has been found alive and pregnant after police found her hidden inside a wardrobe.
The unnamed teenager vanished in 2021 but a year later she was finally reunited with her father following the horrific ordeal.
Police were tipped off by a member of the public before searching the house in Port Huron, Michigan, and were stunned to find the youngster inside.
She was discovered inside the hallway wardrobe, just metres from where the occupants were sitting despite claims they had never seen the teen.
The four occupants of the address initially refused to let cops enter until they returned with a search warrant – which officers said was a huge red flag.