Woman accused of kidnapping daughter, fleeing to Mexico arrested after nearly a year on the run

Esmeralda Lopez, Aranza Ochoa Lopez

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A woman accused of kidnapping her daughter and fleeing to Mexico was arrested after almost a year on the run.

According to the Clark County Jail website, Esmeralda Lopez-Lopez, 22, was booked on Thursday, Oct. 3 on charges of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery, theft of a motor vehicle, second-degree theft, and two counts of identity theft.

Investigators said Lopez-Lopez abducted her then-4-year-old Aranza Ochoa Lopez during a court-supervised visit at the Vancouver Mall in October 2018.

Court documents stated Lopez-Lopez lost custody of Aranza because of a history of abuse.

In May, the FBI asked for help locating Aranza, saying she was still believed to be in Mexico.

Vancouver police said Aranza had not been found as of Friday morning, Oct. 4.

It wasn’t immediately clear how investigators tracked down Lopez-Lopez, but police said she was extradited from California.

In court Friday, the state attorney called Lopez-Lopez a flight risk and said she may be involved in organized crime, therefore could have access to large amounts of money.

The judge ruled to hold her in jail without bail until her next court date, set for Oct. 11.

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