Missing Since: 10/25/2018
Missing From: Vancouver, Washington
Classification: Family Abduction
Date of Birth: 04/17/2014
Age: 4 years old
Height and Weight: 3’4, 40 pounds
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A dark blue long-sleeved shirt with a bulldog on the front, blue, purple, and white striped leggings, and Paw Patrol shoes.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Hispanic female. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Aranza speaks both English and Spanish. Her ears are pierced. Her appearance could have been influenced by makeup and hair dye. Her given name could be “Aganza.”
Circumstances of Disappearance
Aranza was last seen on October 25, 2018, in Vancouver, Washington. She was placed in foster care in 2017 when her mother, Esmeralda Lynn Lopez-Lopez, 21, complained of physical abuse. Esmeralda was deemed a danger to her daughter owing to her history of abuse, erratic behavior, and reluctance to engage in a mental health assessment, and Aranza was reportedly covered in bruises.
Esmeralda was granted supervised visits with Aranza twice a week. During one of their visits, she asked permission to take Aranza to the bathroom when they were in the Vancouver Mall. They never returned; Esmeralda had escaped with her daughter in a stolen vehicle, where Sherri Franchesca Trigueros, a sixteen-year-old accomplice, was waiting. They intended to transfer Aranza to La Libertad, a town in the Mexican state of Chiapas near the Guatemalan border.
Alejandro Xulu-Sop, 15, Francisco Javier Hernandez-Reyes, 18, and Erick Garcia-Valdovinos, both 18, were detained in connection with Aranza’s kidnapping and the kidnapping of a man from Centralia, Washington, whose automobile was stolen and utilized in Aranza’s kidnapping. Trigueros, who had travelled to Mexico with Esmeralda and Aranza, surrendered to police at the US border and was jailed as well.
For almost two weeks, the four youths had plotted the abduction with Esmeralda. They needed a new getaway car after Esmeralda’s car suffered a flat tyre, so she went to a previous boyfriend under the guise of needing a ride to Centralia. On Trigueros’ cue, Xulu-Sop, Hernandez-Reyes, and Garcia-Valdovinos walked in wearing masks and threatened the man with knives while he was at her apartment. They threatened to take his car and demanded his bank card and PIN number. They chained, gagged, blindfolded, and tied him to a chair for more than twelve hours until he was able to free himself and flee by jumping out a second-floor window.
According to one of the judges who ruled over the case, it was one of the worst kidnapping cases she’d encountered in her judicial career. Two of the teens who robbed and held the Centralia man captive in order to aid Esmeralda in her daughter’s kidnapping were sentenced to 17 months in prison, one to 129 weeks in a juvenile detention center, and the case against the fourth is still pending.
For nearly a year, the mother and daughter’s whereabouts were unknown until Esmeralda was apprehended in Mexico, arrested, and extradited to Washington to face charges of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery, second-degree theft, motor vehicle theft, second-degree identity theft, and first-degree custodial interference. This case summary includes a photo of her.
However, Aranza was not found when her mother was detained, and she is still missing. She may still be in Mexico, residing with Esmeralda’s relatives, according to investigators.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation, Seattle 206-622-0460