KENNEWICK, WA - On June 2, 2021, the Kennewick Police Department (KPD) released new updates on the investigation of the missing child Sofia Juarez, who went missing in Kennewick in 2003 and hasn't been found since.
Information from a credible witness says they saw a female matching Sofia's description kidnapped by a boy around the age of 11 to 14.
"This witness reported this 18 years ago, immediately after seeing press coverage on the disappearance of Sofia Juarez," said KPD's Public Information Officer, Lieutenant Aaron Clem. "But we kept that information confidential for the past 18 years because we were using that to find the person and did not want them to know we were trying to find them."
Now, police say this information was released because they have determined it is now helpful for the public to know this detail.
"We are getting this information out there so that people who may know something can bring forth new details, information, or leads," says Clem.
The witness saw the pre-teen take Sofia by the hand, who were both walking on South Washington Street near Easter 15th Avenue, and took her near an occupied van that was parked on the next street. The girl, whom the witness confirmed was Sofia's, was crying while the boy laughed.
Police cannot confirm yet if the pre-teen was working alone or with someone else.
"We want this person to know that we're still looking for him," says Lieutenant Aaron Clem.
The occupied van was described as a light blue or gray 1970s or early 1980s fill-sized panel type van with no side windows.
If you know any further information on the van or suspect, especially if it occurred between 8-9:15 pm on February 3rd on South Washington Street near Easter 15th Avenue, call special investigator Al Wehner at 509-582-1331.
In regards to the viral TikTok video by creator Aka y Alla who interviewed a 23-year-old woman in Culiacan, whom many suspected looked like a grown Sofia, police are still investigating.
"It's much more difficult because she's in Mexico," says Clem.
Clem did say that the creator, Aka y Alla, is being very cooperative with the police on the investigation. They received a call from someone who claims to be a family member of the girl in the Tik Tok video. This person says that the girl is not Sofia and is now in a rehabilitation center, but police are still working to confirm this through a DNA sample.
For more information, or to leave a tip on Sofia's case, go to Kennewick Police's website specially dedicated to Sofia.