'Most wanted' couple captured in Mexico
After an international manhunt, five missing and endangered children from the United States have been safely recovered in Mexico and their fugitive father and his girlfriend apprehended. Edgar Salvador Casian-Garcia and Araceli Medina—formerly on the U.S. Marshals Service’s 15 Most Wanted List—were charged not only with multiple counts of child sex abuse, but also for the murder of Casian-Garcia’s son, whose remains were found near the boy’s Pacific Northwest home. An official at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), which assisted law enforcement in the search, said the fugitives’ capture is testament to the importance of collaboration and community involvement in safeguarding children.
U.S. foster parent charged in boy’s kidnapping
After being kidnapped by his foster parent and her mother, a 5-year-old U.S. boy was found safe in Vietnam and returned to his biologicalmother in Washington State. Foster guardian Amanda Dinges and her mother, Amber Dinges, fled with the boy after it appeared he would soon be transitioning back to living with his birth mother. After Diplomatic Service Security personnel obtained custody of the boy at the U.S. Consulate in Hanoi, the abductors were charged with second-degree kidnapping and first-degree custodial interference. Brittany Tri, the birth mother’s attorney, said the boy is doing well; his mother is unsure how he was able to leave the U.S., since she had never applied for him to have a passport.
Kenyan group using age-progression imaging
A child who goes missing at age 4 will look vastly different at age 10, and a Kenyan organization is helping the public see the physical changes. Missing Child Kenya has been using forensic imaging technology to age-progress last-known images of missing children. The group hopes the images used on posters will increase the chance of finding children who have been missing for years. Missing Child Kenya says it has helped locate more than 1,000 children since its founding seven years ago.
Near 5-year search for U.S. girl ends in Mexico
The sweet face of 4-year-old Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez in a “Stay Kind” shirt served as continual motivation for U.S. authorities who worked for nearly five years to find the girl, last seen in 2018 at a Vancouver, Washington, shopping mall. Earlier this year FBI agents got the long-awaited news that Aranza had been located in western Mexico, and shortly thereafter were able to escort the now 8-year-old back home. Though the girl’s mother, who had kidnapped Aranza, was taken into custody in Mexico in 2019, Aranza had remained missing. “For more than four years, the FBI and our partners [in the U.S. and Mexico] did not give up,” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office. What the girl had experienced while missing is unclear, but “our concern now will be supporting Aranza as she begins her reintegration into the U.S.”