How a TikTok video may remedy 18 12 months previous thriller
A TikTok video gave police new clues about a case in which a five-year-old girl was kidnapped in 2003.
Sofia Juarez was four years old when she disappeared the day before her birthday in February 2003. Her disappearance was Washington State’s first AMBER warning.
Kennewick police said she was abducted between 8:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. on February 4 while walking down the street she lived on.
“Sofia was a typical young girl who loved to play cartoons, play with Barbie dolls and color,” said the police on a page devoted to her disappearance.
“She was naturally shy and unwilling to wander off alone. She was very excited about her upcoming birthday.”
Eighteen years later, Sofia’s case remains open, but a recently released TikTok video revived the police investigation.
Sofia Juarez disappeared in 2003, the day before her fifth birthday. Source: Kennewick Police
A video shared last month shows a man interviewing a woman in Culiacan Sinaloa, northwest Mexico.
The interview is in Spanish, although NBC News reports the woman interviewed is 22 years old.
She alleges she was kidnapped and says if relatives see the interview they should come and get her.
She also says she doesn’t know where she is from.
CNN reported that the woman in the video says she hates birthdays.
Although Yahoo News Australia couldn’t confirm who posted the original video, people on TikTok noticed how similar Ms. Sofia looked when she was little.
Several people believed that the woman in the video looked like Sofia. Source: TikTok
Over 75 witnesses report to the TikTok video
The Kennewick Police in Washington have a page devoted to the updates in Sofia’s case and on April 22nd they confirmed the TikTok video.
“We know the TikTok video,” said the police.
“This is being investigated. Thank you to those who sent us information about this video. It is appreciated.”
While it cannot be confirmed whether the woman in the video is Sofia or whether the woman in the video is okay, it appears that the hype surrounding the video supported the police investigation.
The story goes on
In a later update, police said that over 75 people gave tips on Sofia’s disappearance after sharing the video.
The investigation revealed a witness whom the police considered “highly credible”.
“The witness observed a woman who matched Sofia’s description walking on the sidewalk on S. Washington Street near E. 15th Avenue,” the May 5 update read.
‘The observation corresponds to the approximate time Sofia would have reached this area on foot. A person approached the young woman and led her away when she was crying. “
Since the video was shared on TikTok, over 75 people have posted tips to the police. Source: Kennewick Police
Police said they had a detailed description of the person who took Sofia away that night, but that they were holding them back for “investigative purposes”.
Police also said on the night of February 4 that an occupied van was seen on a nearby street.
The van has been described as either light blue, silver, or gray, an older, full-size model from the 1970s to early 1980s with no side windows.
“It looked like a work-type van that builders or painters might use. This does not mean it was a van or a painter’s van,” police said.
“The police are now very interested in this van.”
In February 2021, to mark the 18th anniversary of Sofia’s disappearance, the Washington State Patrol’s Homeward Bound Program unveiled a truck with pictures of Sofia before she went missing and a picture of what she might look like now.
“In other cases, the Homeward Bound program has succeeded in generating new leads by displaying images of missing children on semi-trailers,” police said.
“These rolling billboards travel across the west coast to Canada and Mexico. Sofia is currently one of five children on the program.”
The police have continued to seek help from Sofia Juarez over the years. Source: Kennewick Police
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