Monday, February 4, 2008

Sofia Juarez now missing 5 years, Kennewick, Washington

I am happy to say that the local media in Pasco, Washington did a story to mark the anniversary of Sofia's disappearance. The media in Washington state seems to be good about remembering her.
Article and photo on the left from
The Search for Sofia
Story Published: Feb 3, 2008 at 7:41 PM PST
By Rudabeh Shahbazi
Little Sofia Juarez disappeared from her Kennewick home this
week five years ago. Her loss continues to impact the community and haunt local
law enforcement.
Juarez was last seen playing with her brother the day before her fifth
birthday. She told her mother she was going to the store with her grandmother's
boyfriend, but when he came back, he said he had gone alone.
Police called it an abduction from the beginning.
“Any time there are children are involved, it becomes a very meaningful
investigation,” said Chris Walters of the Kennewick Police. “People work really
hard to bring closure and find the child, and it's touched the community as a
With each passing year, a few new wrinkles of information appear, but fail
to yield results. In 2003 an Amber Alert was issued as police combed houses and
neighborhoods for Juarez.
According to investigators, a child said he saw Juarez walking down the
driveway with a man dressed in all black. Kennewick police say Juarez has been
one of their most stand-out cases of the last decade. They say they still get
leads every month, but they are mostly just theories. So far, none has panned
Sofia's mother, Maria Juarez, told Action News her daughter was shy, and
that she wouldn't go with a stranger without a fuss. She believes whoever took
her child probably knew her.
“It helps because my family is going to be there in the good times and the
bad times,” she said. “But for me, I still got something that's missing, and
that's her.”
Investigators have tried new and different approaches to find Juarez since
she vanished. They plastered photos of the child on semi trucks that crossed the
nation and displayed a large picture of her at the entrance of the
Benton-Franklin Fair. Juarez also appeared on America's Most Wanted, but still
Police are still searching, and Juarez's family is still hoping.
“We want her back and we miss her,” said her teary mother.
The Center for Missing and Exploited Children says Juarez's father did not
know her and is not a suspect. Neither is her grandmother's boyfriend.
Investigators did identify a few suspects over the years, one of them a neighbor
who was convicted of a sex crime, but those leads too, were dead ends.
Every day 300 children are reported missing in this country, according to
the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
If you have any information on the case of Sofia Juarez, please call the
Kennewick Police.
The numbers for the Kennewick Police are (509) 585-4208 or (509) 628-0333.

Age progression (right) from Sofia's poster.

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